Background More than 1% of the French population is treated with anticoagulants. This class of medicines is the leading cause of iatrogenic illness. For this reason anticoagulant therapeutic education (ATE) is a priority for our hospital. Since 2010, an ATE programme has been implemented in the cardiology department but only a few patients have been interviewed so far.
Purpose To find a new method that would be more effective in treating patients and also easier to implement for the pharmacist, who is in charge of informing the health staff.
Materials and Methods Since all the patients’ records are computerised, we worked with the computing department to include the ATE programme in the patients’ records. We start by interviewing the patients being treated with anticoagulants. Then, we explain to them what the treatment consists of and we give them an explanatory booklet which informs them about the signs of overdose, risky situations and adverse effects. It also provides them with information regarding their diet and the steps they have to follow when forgetting a dose. We call the patients one month after the interview was carried out to assess the results.
Results The new method was implemented in March 2012. Of the 12 patients we interviewed, 8 patients answered our questions and 2 of them had stopped their treatment. The 6 patients still on treatment knew that the treatment follow-up required doing blood tests. 4 of them knew what to do if they got an abnormal INR result. 3 of the 6 patients kept their anticoagulant treatment card in their wallet. All the patients took their medicine at fixed times in the evening. They appeared to be satisfied with the programme. The booklet helps them to commit to memory the concepts explained to them. Including the ATE in the patients’ computerised records was shown to make the pharmacist’s work easier. The presentation of the process to the managers from the different departments was a success.
Conclusions These encouraging results highlight the advantages of this new therapeutic education method which makes the pharmacist’s work easier. We plan to introduce ATE in all departments and to assess this implementation over the next six months.
No conflict of interest.
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