Background The Pharmacy and Haematology units, together with the hospital management, implemented a system for the dispensing of low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) for patients treated for anticoagulation with acenocoumarol and awaiting minor outpatient surgery.
Purpose To evaluate the implementation of this protocol, and to quantify its financial impact.
Materials and methods Retrospective observational study of 100% of the patients included in 2012. Data obtained: number of patients, demographic data and number of units LMWH dispensed. For the cost calculation, the differential cost was used between the acquisition cost and cost per prescription. We also took into account the number of units left over at home if the LMWH had been acquired by prescription.
Results A total of 591 patients were included (mean age 71.83 ± 11.65). A total of 4,637 doses of LMWH were dispensed (mean 7.84 ± 1.98 days’ treatment per patient), all of which were accompanied by verbal and written information. Introducing this system simplified the acquisition of LMWH and reinforced the information given to the patients. It also streamlined the haematology consultations and avoided having to suspend scheduled surgery due to a failure to adhere to or understand the treatment. The new system saved 46,298 euros during the study period. The number of excess units if they had been acquired by prescription would have been 1,325 units. Dispensing the precise number of units helped to prevent possible medicines errors.
Conclusions The new system ensures that patients understand their instructions and reinforces compliance, as well as providing significant savings for the healthcare authorities. The results of implementing this system reaffirm the validity of multidisciplinary working protocols of this kind in order to optimise available resources.
No conflict of interest.
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