Consumer Action
How to Protect Yourself in High-Risk Situations
(updated 4.07.06)

This education campaign targets patients taking oral anticoagulants in the outpatient setting, and provides tools and messages to encourage safe use of these medications.  Messages are also directed to providers, family caregivers, and pharmacists. Although the campaign initially focuses on oral anticoagulants, the resulting effort could serve as a template for other high-risk medications. 

The campaign, formally launched May 31, 2006, informs patients and caregivers about the risks of oral anticoagulants interacting with other medications and substances, and the importance of blood testing and diet.  The campaign provides a framework for patients and caregivers to ask their health care providers key questions about the safe use of oral anticoagulants.  The campaign also reaches out to providers and dispensers  (1) to educate and remind about the potential for harmful interactions,  (2) provide them with tools to enhance awareness and message compliance among their patients, and (3) encourage them to establish a regular feedback loop with their patients to enhance knowledge and understanding of blood test results.  Educational materials, including summaries of the background research conducted, are on the campaign website mybloodthinner.org. 

The SOS Rx coalition is now interested in increasing dissemination and engaging in follow up activities to expand the impact of the campaign.  We will develop strategies for reaching additional targeted populations, including contacting current SOS Rx partners and other organizations to ensure distribution and links with mybloodthinner.org website.  In addition, we plan to explore opportunities for expanded circulation of the print materials available for both patients and providers.

We also hope to evaluate the education campaign in a constrained setting. We plan to partner with an appropriate entity to design a study that would evaluate the impact of the intervention in a limited number of patients and providers.   If this intervention is successful, we would consider duplicating the education campaign model for another class of high risk medications.       

 


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