A clinical pharmacist from Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus recently represented Barnabas Health at the AC Forum's 13th National Conference on Anticoagulant Therapy in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 23.
Barbara Greenberg-Schwartz, Rph CCHP, a clinical pharmacist at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, was invited as one of 50 people whose abstract was selected to be featured in the forum's poster presentation session. Schwartz, who specializes in anticoagulation, developed a research-driven quality initiative to improve patient safety and decrease adverse incidents among patients taking Rivaroxaban, an anticoagulant that requires close monitoring.
"There's a delicate balance between clotting and bleeding that has to be achieved when monitoring patients who are on these therapies," said Dr. Scott Mathis, director of pharmacy at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus. "Barbara has created an easily identifiable and memorable tool to help clinicians think about these orders and ensure patients are receiving the right dosage of medication."
Using highly respected monitoring criteria based on best practice guidelines, case reports and evidence-based medicine worldwide, Schwartz developed an acronym to educate pharmacy staff on Rivaroxaban's indications, dosing, side effects and renal impairment guidelines in an effort to decrease incidents related to the medication.
"'LEARN about Rivaroxaban' focuses on various indications and prescribing factors – liver disease; evening meals that help with absorption; the fact that the drug is an anticoagulant and should not be prescribed with other anticoagulants; renal function; and the numerous indications and dosages that may need to be adjusted to avoid adverse effects," said Schwartz, who led pharmacy education sessions and competency tests to ensure pharmacy staff understood the initiative.
In addition to teaching pharmacy staff about the initiative, Schwartz educated patients who were prescribed to this class of drugs about possible adverse side effects. According to Dr. Mathis, "among those who Barbara counseled, not one patient has been readmitted with complications – despite the fact that it is common for patients on this class of drugs to experience bleeding and complications that require hospital readmission."
"I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity to share this initiative with the anticoagulation field – it allows me to share my research and the tool I've developed, so hopefully they will implement my acronym to decrease medication incidents and encourage safer prescribing practices at their own hospitals," said Schwartz.
The annual AC Forum attracted more than 900 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and medical professionals from around the world. In addition to being featured at the forum, Schwartz's abstract will also be published in a special issue of theJournal of Thrombosis & Thrombolysis, a resource for medical professionals who are actively involved in treatment decisions and the clinical investigation of thrombotic disorders involving the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems.
For more information on Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, visit www.barnabashealth.org/monmouthsoutherncampus.
About Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus:
Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus is an acute-care community hospital located in Lakewood, Ocean County. A Barnabas Health facility, Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus merged with Monmouth Medical Center, a teaching hospital located in Long Branch, Monmouth County, in 2014. The hospitals are dedicated to improving the health and well being of the communities they proudly serve through expanded access to specialty outpatient services that focus on preventive medicine and healthy living. The partnership has also expanded patients' access to geriatric and pediatric emergency services, as well as outpatient neurology, oncology and geriatric services. Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus is in the process of converting to all private rooms, which will make it the only provider in the region with all private rooms for overnight stays. For more information about Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, visit www.barnabashealth.org.