Electronic alerts to initiate anticoagulation dialogue in patients with atrial fibrillation

J. Antonio Gutierrez, Ruff T. Christian, Aaron W. Aday, Lin Gu, Ryan D. Schulteis, Lu Shihai, Michaela Petrini, Albert Y. Sun, Rajesh V. Swaminathan, Daniel R. Katzenberger, Subhash Banerjee, Sunil V. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Importance: The benefit of an electronic support system for the prescription and adherence to oral anticoagulation therapy among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and atrial flutter at heightened risk for of stroke and systemic thromboembolism is unclear. Objective: To evaluate the effect of a combined alert intervention and shared decision-making tool to improve prescription rates of oral anticoagulation therapy and adherence. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective single arm study of 939 consecutive patients treated at a large tertiary healthcare system. Exposures: An electronic support system comprising 1) an electronic alert to identify patients with AF or atrial flutter, a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥ 2, and not on oral anticoagulation and 2) electronic shared decision-making tool to promote discussions between providers and patients regarding therapy. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary endpoint was prescription rate of anticoagulation therapy. The secondary endpoint was adherence to anticoagulation therapy defined as medication possession ratio ≥ 80% during the 12 months of follow-up. Results: Between June 13, 2018 and August 31, 2018, the automated intervention identified and triggered a unique alert for 939 consecutive patients with AF or atrial flutter, a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥2 who were not on oral anticoagulation. The median CHA2DS2-VASc score among all patients identified by the alert was 2 and the median untreated duration prior to the alert was 495 days (interquartile range 123 – 1,831 days). Of the patients identified by the alert, 345 (36.7%) initiated anticoagulation therapy and 594 (63.3%) did not: 68.7% were treated with a non-Vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), 22.0% with warfarin, and 9.3 % combination of NOAC and warfarin. Compared with historical anticoagulation rates, the electronic alert was associated with a 23.6% increase in anticoagulation prescriptions. The overall 1-year rate of adherence to anticoagulant therapy was 75.4% (260/345). Conclusion and Relevance: An electronic automated alert can successfully identify patients with AF and atrial flutter at high risk for stroke, increase oral anticoagulation prescription, and support high rates of adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican heart journal
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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