Community pharmacy could provide safe anticoagulation service

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A recent study from Boots UK and the University of Brighton has demonstrated that community pharmacy is ideally placed to provide a safe anticoagulation service for patients needing warfarin monitoring, delivering enhanced clinical outcomes and patient experience.

Published recently in the journal BMC Health Services Research, the evaluation tracked over 2,000 patients on warfarin who were using the Community Pharmacy Anticoagulation Management Service between 2009 and 2016 in Brighton and Hove.

Previously, these patients would have needed to attend regular hospital outpatient clinics to have blood samples taken to assess their International Normalised Ratio (INR) readings, but now are able to access this service from their local community pharmacy, improving patient convenience along with accessibility of the service.

Patient outcomes were shown to exceed targets for patients using the service (percentage INR readings in therapeutic range (65.4%) and percentage time in therapeutic range (72.5%), versus targets of 60% and 70% respectively). The study also showed high levels of patient satisfaction with the service, with over 98.6% of patients rating the service as good, very good or excellent.

The study ran after Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group made the decision to shift this service from the secondary care setting into local community pharmacies.

James Morton, Commissioning Manager – Urgent and Community, Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Community Pharmacy Anticoagulation Management Service has proven consistently popular with our patients, by providing accessible clinics closer to home rather than having to travel to attend a hospital appointment. Recent innovations such as piloting self-testing for a specific cohort of patients have further enhanced patient experience, particularly for people who work.  Brighton and Hove’s GP’s also highly value the service and it provides an invaluable bridge between primary and secondary care services.”

The full report is available here: