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Limiting Unnecessary Healthcare Resource Utilization


Michael A. Evans, BS, RPh, discusses potential strategies to help prevent unnecessary hospital readmissions and decrease overall length of stay for patients being discharged on anticoagulant therapy.

Educating the patient about his or her treatment, ensuring that the patient fills their prescription, and then following up with the patient to assess whether they are taking the prescription as directed and not experiencing any side effects are all important strategies, says Mr Evans.

During follow-up care, which team members will be involved in ensuring that a patient is adherent to his or her treatment will depend on the structure of the health system where the patient is receiving care, Mr Evans adds. For instance, explains Mr Evans, in a closed health system (ie, managed care organization), follow-up may be performed by a care manager, nurse, or pharmacist. However, if the patient is being released from a fee-for-service institution, the hospital or acute care facility would need to communicate with an ambulatory care team. Then, the ambulatory care team would be responsible for reaching out to the patient.

Mr Evans also explains why patients treated with warfarin may experience longer lengths of stay in a hospital setting prior to discharge and suggests that hospitals that have strong ambulatory care transition programs can release patients sooner. Mr Evans further notes that direct-acting oral anticoagulants can help decrease overall length of stay because unlike with warfarin, no bridging therapy is necessary.

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