The role of clinical pharmacy anticoagulation services in direct oral anticoagulant monitoring

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2020 Oct;50(3):739-745. doi: 10.1007/s11239-020-02064-0.


The role of dedicated anticoagulation management services (AMS) for patients receiving direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) therapy is unclear. The objective of our study was to describe DOAC management in patients who were and were not managed by an AMS. We conducted a retrospective cohort study among patients with atrial fibrillation at the University of Utah Health (UUH) who received DOAC therapy between January 2013 and June 2016. Patients in the AMS group were managed by a pharmacist-led AMS whereas those in the non-AMS group were managed by other providers. The number and type of provider encounters and interventions related to DOAC therapy and a composite endpoint of thromboembolism, bleeding, and all-cause mortality were recorded. Overall, 90 and 370 patients were managed in the AMS and non-AMS groups, respectively. AMS group patients had greater chronic disease burden as measured by the Charlson comorbidity index. AMS group patients had more frequent DOAC-related encounters than non-AMS group patients but both groups had similar DOAC therapy intervention rates. Over half of patients in the AMS group received potentially duplicative interventions from their regular clinicians. The composite endpoint occurred in 18.9% and 13.5% of AMS and non-AMS group patients, respectively (p = 0.29). Patients managed by AMS providers were more complex and had more frequent encounters regarding their DOAC therapy than those managed by non-AMS providers. However, there was evidence of duplicative DOAC therapy management efforts. No difference between AMS and non-AMS groups in the composite clinical endpoint was detected.

Keywords: Anticoagulation; Bleeding; DOAC; NOAC; Pharmacist management.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control


  • Factor Xa Inhibitors