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Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Informatics tools to reduce warfaring dosing errors

Principal Investigator
PI Home Department
Source of Support
Dates
Total Cost
Richard H. White, M.D.
General Medicine
AHRQ
10/2001 - 9/2004
$1,007,000

The WARfarin Dosing and Communication System (WARFDOCS) is a federally funded project aimed at developing and evaluating tools to eliminate errors and increase effectiveness of warfarin dosing in inpatient settings and during transition to outpatient follow up. Warfarin is a commonly used anticoagulant that is difficult to dose properly and can have serious consequences if errors in dosing are made. The rate of warfarin dosing errors is relatively high, making reducing errors a priority. The project has developed a PDA-based tool to assist in accurately prescribing warfarin in the hospital and to generate anticoagulation discharge summaries to aid the transition to outpatient care. The project is evaluating a protocol in which these tools are used by hospital pharmacists to make recommendations to inpatient physicians during warfarin therapy and to provide inpatient treatment summaries and recommendations to physicians doing outpatient follow up.

The project has contracted with five hospitals to participate in the trial: UC Davis Medical Center, Kaiser Sacramento (Morse Ave.), Mercy San Juan, Marshall Hospital (Placerville), and St. Joseph’s Medical Center (Stockton). Lodi Memorial withdrew from the project. Pharmacists at each site have been trained and data collection has been completed at 2 sites (Marshall and St. Joseph’s), with collection underway at the remaining three sites. A preview of the "public release" version of the PDA software was presented at the 2004 AHRQ Patient Safety Conference and will be made available by year's end.