Purpose Internationally, healthcare systems are moving towards delivering care in an integrated manner which advocates a multi-disciplinary approach to decision making. Such an approach is formally encouraged in the management of Atrial Fibrillation patients through the European Society of Cardiology guidelines. Since the emergence of new oral anticoagulants switching between oral anticoagulants (OACs) has become prevalent. This case study considers the role of multi-disciplinary decision making, given the complex nature of the agents. The purpose of this paper is to explore Irish General Practitioners' (GPs) experience of switching between all OACs for Arial Fibrillation (AF) patients; prevalence of multi-disciplinary decision making in OAC switching decisions and seeks to determine the GP characteristics that appear to influence the likelihood of multi-disciplinary decision making.
Design/methodology/approach A probit model is used to determine the factors influencing multi-disciplinary decision making and a multinomial logit is used to examine the factors influencing who is involved in the multi-disciplinary decisions.
Findings Results reveal that while some multi-disciplinary decision-making is occurring (64 per cent), it is not standard practice despite international guidelines on integrated care. Moreover, there is a lack of patient participation in the decision-making process. Female GPs and GPs who have initiated prescriptions for OACs are more likely to engage in multi-disciplinary decision-making surrounding switching OACs amongst AF patients. GPs with training practices were less likely to engage with cardiac consultants and those in urban areas were more likely to engage with other (non-cardiac) consultants.
Originality/value For optimal decision making under uncertainty multi-disciplinary decision-making is needed to make a more informed judgement and to improve treatment decisions and reduce the opportunity cost of making the wrong decision.