Many patients are prescribed anticoagulants. Newer non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants, NOACs, were launched in 2008 and are increasingly commonly used. However, they may still be unfamiliar to patients and health care professionals. It is mandated by the National Patient Safety Agency and European Society of Cardiology to provide written safety information for patients receiving anticoagulants. We developed a standard patient alert card with the support of the North of England Strategic Clinical network (NESCN) to clearly provide key safety information for patients and health care professionals. This is the only card in the United Kingdom that is used over such a wide geographical area. We recognized that this would avoid duplication of work devising a similar card across all the sites in primary and secondary care. Given that staff and patients commonly move about the region it would also lead to better ease of recognition. The NESCN card was developed with input from all the key stakeholders, including cardiology, stroke, hematology, acute medicine, primary care, and patient groups. It was launched in 2015 across the Northern region, which includes over 3 million people. It was distributed to general practitioners (GPs), primary and secondary care pharmacists. Electronic and face-to-face education was carried out alongside to pharmacists, GPs, and hospital physicians. We gathered patient and clinical staff feedback regarding the card and found the alert card was widely embedded within practice across the region and patient feedback was good. The evaluation shows a simple and inexpensive intervention delivered with no formal funding can address this patient safety concern. We have engaged with Clinical Commissioning Groups and secondary care trusts in the region to ensure the legacy of the project. In response to requests from other regions and organizations, the card has been widely shared and implemented across many areas of the United Kingdom.
- Business of Medicine
- Doctor’s Voice