To determine the ability of community pharmacists within an anticoagulation clinic to keep international normalized ratios (INRs) within therapeutic ranges and, secondarily, to determine the incidence of bleeding and thromboembolic events and patient satisfaction.
Retrospective observational study.
Eckerd PatientCARE Network in Eckerd pharmacies in Tampa Bay area of Florida.
50 patients taking warfarin and having INR determinations for 6 consecutive months.
Clinical pharmacists monitored patients' anticoagulation status using point-of-care analyzers and making dosage changes as needed under a collaborative agreement. Extensive patient education was provided to patients regarding their anticoagulation. Data were collected from the initial visit through the 6 consecutive months. Patients were surveyed to assess their satisfaction with the clinic.
Main Outcome Measures
Percentage of INRs within therapeutic range and, secondarily, incidence of bleeding and thromboembolic events and patient satisfaction with the clinic.
During the 6 months of initial therapy with warfarin, 243 of 435 (56%) INRs were in desired therapeutic ranges. A total of 15 bleeding episodes were reported, of which 10 were minor and 5 were significant. No thromboembolic events were reported. There was a 22% response rate to the survey, in which all statements were rated as above average to excellent.
Community pharmacists in an anticoagulation clinic effectively manage anticoagulation therapy, as the results of this clinic are similar to those of clinics managed by pharmacists in other settings.