J Pharm Pract. 2021 Mar 19:8971900211000704. doi: 10.1177/08971900211000704. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: It is now widely accepted to manage low risk acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) in the outpatient setting with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Although DOACs are straightforward to dose, they are high risk medications and not immune to medication errors. There is limited evidence that pharmacists' intervention has an impact on DOAC discharge medication errors in the ED.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if pharmacist involvement reduced the rate of DOAC discharge medication errors in low risk VTE patients.
METHODS: This retrospective cohort study evaluated a clinical pharmacy service implemented prior to the study. Included patients were evaluated in 2 groups: the cohort with pharmacist involvement and the cohort without pharmacist involvement. The primary outcome was the rate of anticoagulation medication errors.
RESULTS: A total of 58 patients were evaluated. Of these patients, 14 had a pharmacist directly involved with their care in the ED while 44 patients did not. The rate of medication errors was lower when a pharmacist was involved, 7.1% (n = 1), compared to when a pharmacist was not involved, 36.4% (n = 16), (p = 0.046). All patients in the pharmacist involvement group received anticoagulation counseling prior to discharge compared to only 56.8% of patients in the non-pharmacist involvement group (p = 0.002).
CONCLUSION: Our protocol for pharmacist involvement at the time of VTE diagnosis during an ED admission showed a reduced rate of anticoagulation medication errors when a pharmacist was involved. This benefit could potentially translate into improved outcomes such as readmission rates, patient safety outcomes, and hospitalizations.