Background: Warfarin therapy must be closely monitored to prevent possible interactions and side-effects. The need for frequent periodic monitoring and the complexity of the therapy led to the creation of Anticoagulation Clinics (AC). The involvement of pharmacists and nurses in the AC setting has demonstrated positive aspects like improved outcomes in term of International Normalised Ratio (INR) control, cost saving and improved patient satisfaction. The Outpatient Department (OPD) of the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) Anticoagulation Clinic envisages that appropriately trained pharmacists and nurses will manage anticoagulation from April 2009.
Aim To explore patients¿ perceptions and beliefs regarding the management of their warfarin therapy by a pharmacist or a nurse, prior to the introduction of this service.
Methods: Consecutive patients attending an outpatient AC were invited to participate in the study. Participants completed an amended `patient satisfaction with pharmacist/nurse prescribing¿ questionnaire.
Results: Data were collected on 143 patients (median age 63.9 years (14.5 SD); 44.8 % female). The majority of patients (85.9%) reported that warfarin management by a pharmacist/nurse was a good idea. 76.9 % would recommend a pharmacist/nurse-led warfarin management to other people and 78.3 % either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that that would get more time with the pharmacist/nurse than with a doctor.
Conclusions The patients¿ perceptions of nurse/pharmacist OAT management were generally positive. However most of the patients if given a choice would still consult a doctor but this may change as experience of non-medical health professionals (NMHP) increases. Further studies will be well placed examining this issue.