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Use of Warfarin Dosing Algorithms Decreases With Experience


September 12, 2019

While most anticoagulation providers use warfarin dosing algorithms, many give up the tool with experience, according to a study published online in the journal Thrombosis Research.

“Warfarin dosing algorithms have proven beneficial in increasing time within therapeutic range (TTR) and decreasing adverse events associated with out-of-range international normalized ratios (INRs),” researchers wrote in the study introduction. “Despite widespread availability, providers' utilization and perceptions of warfarin algorithms in real-world practice are unclear.”

To gain insight, researchers conducted an electronic survey, which was completed by 246 anticoagulation providers across the country. Pharmacists made up 82% of respondents, and 69% said they had been dosing warfarin for more than 5 years. 

In all, 84% of respondents deemed warfarin dosing algorithms helpful, researchers reported. Just under three-quarters (72%) said they currently use a warfarin dosing algorithm in their practice. Pharmacists were the least likely of survey respondents to use one. 

“Algorithm utilization also decreased as years of warfarin dosing experience increased, with the highest rate of usage noted in the first year of dosing warfarin,” researchers wrote. “The most common reason providers gave for discontinuing algorithm use was that they no longer felt it was needed.” 

To increase long-term use and potentially improve patient outcomes, researchers recommended educating anticoagulation providers on the continued benefits of warfarin dosing algorithms. 

Jolynn Tumolo

Reference:

Gardner T, Vazquez SR, Kim K, Jones AE, Witt DM. Providers' utilization and perceptions of warfarin dosing algorithms [published online September 4, 2019]. Thromb Res. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2019.09.002

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