Development and Evaluation of a Pharmacist-Driven Screening Tool to Identify Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department Who Are Eligible for Outpatient Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a critical and costly health issue. Treatment in the outpatient setting is preferred compared to the inpatient setting. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding how best to identify patients who are ideal for outpatient DVT treatment.To design and evaluate a pharmacist-driven screening tool for the identification of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) at a community hospital with DVT who are appropriate for outpatient treatment.This study was conducted in sequential phases: compilation and vetting of screening criteria, descriptive evaluation of criteria through retrospective chart review, and quantification of potential cost savings by avoiding admissions. Criteria were collected via literature search and assembled into a screening tool, which was applied retroactively to a cohort of ED patients admitted with DVT diagnosis.A screening tool was developed with multidisciplinary input and consisted of 5 categories with individual patient and disease state criteria. The majority (91%) of patients reviewed would not have qualified for outpatient DVT treatment based on the retrospective application of the screening tool. The most common disqualification criteria category was high risk of bleeding/clotting (n = 81), and the most frequently represented parameter within that category was antithrombotic therapy prior to admission (n = 53).A screening tool may not be the most efficient method for health-care practitioners such as pharmacists to identify ED patients appropriate for outpatient management of DVT. Other avenues should be explored for improving the cost-effective management of these patients.

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Authors: Shaina E Musco, Shannon M Smallwood, Jill Gossard