Atrial fibrillation patients on warfarin and their transition to direct oral anticoagulants

Link to article at PubMed

Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2020 Dec 16;Publish Ahead of Print. doi: 10.1097/HPC.0000000000000251. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The standard of care for stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) is the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). However, many patients established on warfarin therapy have not been considered for a transition to a DOAC.

OBJECTIVES: Assess the AF patient population of Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) Anticoagulation Management Service (AMS) currently being treated with warfarin, transition eligible patients to a DOAC, and identify barriers to the transitional process.

METHODS: Patient characteristics were analyzed to describe the overall AF population and a systematic process was used to determine clinical candidacy for a transition from warfarin to a DOAC. After being deemed eligible by both the referring physician and the AMS pharmacist, each patient was contacted and offered the opportunity for DOAC transition. Endpoints included number of successful transitions and commonly encountered barriers.

RESULTS: Out of the 1,407 total AF patients on warfarin managed by BWH AMS, there were 787 patients identified as candidates for DOAC transition and a successful transition was completed for 250 (31.8%) of them. Barriers to transition included patient preference for warfarin (n=247, 31.4%), referring physician preference for warfarin (n=112, 14.2%), cost (n=88, 11.2%), AMS pharmacist preference for warfarin (n=70, 8.9%), and previous DOAC intolerance (n=20, 2.5%).

CONCLUSION: Every institution or provider network that manages AF patients on warfarin should assess their population on a regular basis to identify candidates for DOAC therapy. Our initiative outlines a process for identifying and transitioning DOAC-eligible AF patients established on warfarin therapy and describes the most commonly encountered barriers to DOAC therapy.

PMID:33337730 | DOI:10.1097/HPC.0000000000000251

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