Impact of Discharge Anticoagulation Education by Emergency Department Pharmacists at a Tertiary Academic Medical Center

Elizabeth G. Zdyb*, D. Mark Courtney, Sanjeev Malik, Michael J. Schmidt, Abbie E. Lyden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Although pharmacists commonly provide patient education and help manage high-risk anticoagulant medications in inpatient and outpatient settings, the evidence for these interventions in the emergency department (ED) is less established, especially in the era of direct-acting oral anticoagulants. In 2013, a formal program was initiated whereby patients discharged with a new prescription for any anticoagulant receive education from an ED pharmacist when on-site. In addition, they received follow-up phone calls from an ED pharmacist within 72 hours of discharge. Objective We sought to identify the impact of pharmacist education, defined as the need for intervention on callback, versus physician and nursing-driven discharge measures on patient understanding and appropriate use of anticoagulant medications. Methods A single-center retrospective analysis included patients discharged from the ED between May 2013 and May 2016 with a new anticoagulant prescription. Electronic callback records were reviewed to assess patients' adherence and understanding of discharge instructions as well as for an anticoagulant-related hospital readmission within 90 days. Results One hundred seventy-four patients were evaluated in a per protocol analysis. Patients who did not receive pharmacist education prior to discharge required an increased need for intervention during callback versus those who did (36.4% vs. 12.9%, p = 0.0005) related to adherence, inappropriate administration, and continued use of interacting medications or supplements, among other concerns. In addition, patients who had not received pharmacist counseling were more likely to be readmitted to a hospital or return to the ED within 90 days after their initial visit for an anticoagulation-related problem versus patients who had (12.12% vs. 1.85%, p = 0.0069). Conclusion Discharge education by ED pharmacists leads to improved patient understanding and appropriate use of anticoagulants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-903
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • anticoagulant
  • discharge education
  • emergency medicine pharmacy
  • transitions of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Discharge Anticoagulation Education by Emergency Department Pharmacists at a Tertiary Academic Medical Center'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this