Impact of a computerized antithrombotic risk assessment tool on the prescription of thromboprophylaxis in Atrial Fibrillation: Hospital Setting

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Journal Article
Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis, 2018, 24 (1), pp. 85 - 92
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© The Author(s) 2016. The computerized antithrombotic risk assessment tool (CARAT) is an online decision-support algorithm that facilitates a systematic review of a patient's stroke risk, bleeding risk, and pertinent medication safety considerations, to generate an individualized treatment recommendation. The CARAT was prospectively applied across 2 hospitals in the greater Sydney area. Its impact on antithrombotics utilization for thromboprophylaxis in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation was evaluated. Factors influencing prescribers' treatment selection were identified. The CARAT recommended a change in baseline therapy for 51.8% of patients. Among anticoagulant-eligible patients (ie, where the risk of stroke outweighed the risk of bleeding) using “nil therapy” or antiplatelet therapy at baseline, the CARAT recommended an upgrade to warfarin in 60 (30.8%) patients. For those in whom the bleeding risk outweighed the stroke risk, the CARAT recommended a downgrade from warfarin to safer alternatives (eg, aspirin) in 37 (19%) patients. Among the "most eligible" (ie, high stroke risk, low bleeding risk, no contraindications; n = 75), the CARAT recommended warfarin for all cases. Discharge therapy observed a marginal increase in anticoagulation prescription in eligible patients (n = 116; 57.8% vs 64.7%, P =.35) compared to baseline. Predictors of warfarin use (vs antiplatelets) included congestive cardiac failure, diabetes mellitus, and polypharmacy. The CARAT was able to optimize the selection of therapy, increasing anticoagulant use among eligible patients. With the increasing complexity of decision-making, such tools may be useful adjuncts in therapy selection in atrial fibrillation. Future studies should explore the utility of such tools in selecting therapies from within an expanded treatment armamentarium comprising the non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants.
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