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Drive‐up INR testing and phone‐based consultations service during COVID‐19 pandemic in a pharmacist‐lead anticoagulation clinic in Qatar: Monitoring, clinical, resource utilization, and patient‐ oriented outcomes

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Version 2 2023-03-19, 10:54
Version 1 2023-03-16, 06:23
journal contribution
revised on 2023-03-19, 10:52 and posted on 2023-03-19, 10:54 authored by Eman N. Alhmoud, Osama Badry Abd El Samad, Hazem Elewa, Ola Alkhozondar, Ezeldin Soaly, Rasha El Anany

Background

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in unprecedented pressure on healthcare systems and led to widespread utilization of telemedicine or telehealth services. Combined with teleclinics, using drive-up fingerstick International normalized ratio (INR) testing was recommended to decrease exposure risk of anticoagulation patients.

Objective

To evaluate the impact of transitioning from clinic-based anticoagulation management services to drive-up and phone-based services during COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar.

Methods

The study comprised of two components: a retrospective cohort study of all eligible patients who attended anticoagulation clinic over 1-year period (6 months before and 6 months after service transition) and a cross-sectional survey of eligible patients who agreed to provide data about their satisfaction with the new service. Monitoring parameters, clinical outcomes, and resource utilization related to warfarin therapy were compared before and after service transition. Patients' experience was explored through a structured survey.

Results

There was no statistically significant difference between clinic-based and phone-based anticoagulation services in mean time and number of visits within therapeutic range (P = .67; P = .06 respectively); mean number of extreme subtherapeutic and supratherapeutic INR values (P = .32 and P = .34, respectively); incidence of thromboembolic complications and warfarin related hospitalization. There was one reported bleeding and one emergency visit (0.9%) in the phone-based group vs none in the clinic-based group. Frequency of INR testing and compliance to attending clinics appointments declined significantly (P = .002; P = .001, respectively). Overall, patients were highly satisfied with the new service. The majority of patients found it better (51.6%) or just as good as the traditional service (44.5%). Patients who preferred the new service were significantly younger than their counterparts (P = .005).

Conclusion

The service of drive-up INR testing and phone-based consultations was shown to be comparable to traditional anticoagulation service, a finding that supports maintaining such services as part of the new normal after the pandemic is over.

Other Information

Published in: JACCP: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CLINICAL PHARMACY
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jac5.1469

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Wiley

Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Qatar University

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