General Information

CHA Medication Safety Guidelines for Anticoagulants

Anticoagulation is a high risk therapy involving complex dosing and stringent monitoring as well as ensuring patient adherence with outpatient therapy.Citing a number of high profile errors, the Joint Commission (TJC) issued a Sentinel Event alert in September 2008 alerting clinicians to the risks related to these potentially life-saving drugs.They also introduced a National Patient Safety Goal requiring organizations to implement processes for reducing the likelihood of patient harm associated with the use of anticoagulation therapy.

The CHA Medication Safety Committee has created

a High Alert Medication Guideline for the following anticoagulants:  unfractionated heparin, warfarin and enoxaparin, summarizing safe-use practices for these anticoagulants. It is intended to be used only as a guideline. Hospitals should consult with their Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee prior to adopting the safe practices outlined in the guideline.