Specifications Manual for Joint Commission National Quality Measures (v2021B2)
Posted: 9/29/2021
Home » Anticoagulation Therapy Prescribed at Discharge

Release Notes:
Data Element
Version 2021B2

Name:Anticoagulation Therapy Prescribed at Discharge
Collected For: STK-3
Definition:Documentation that anticoagulation therapy was prescribed or continued at hospital discharge. Anticoagulant medications prevent the clotting of blood.
Question:Was anticoagulation therapy prescribed at hospital discharge?
Allowable Values:

Y (Yes)     Anticoagulation therapy was prescribed at hospital discharge.

N (No)     Anticoagulation therapy was not prescribed at hospital discharge, OR unable to determine from the medical record documentation.
Notes for Abstraction:
  • If there is documentation in the medical record that an anticoagulant medication was prescribed at discharge, then select "Yes". Documentation that the patient should continue to take an anticoagulant medication that was administered during the hospital stay or taken prior to hospital admission (e.g., home medication) is also acceptable. At minimum, the name of the anticoagulant medication must be documented.
  • In determining whether anticoagulation therapy was prescribed at discharge, it is not uncommon to see conflicting documentation amongst different medical record sources. For example, the discharge summary may list an anticoagulant that is not included in any of the other discharge medication sources (e.g., discharge orders). All discharge medication documentation available in the chart should be reviewed and taken into account by the abstractor.
    • In cases where there is an anticoagulant in one source that is not mentioned in other sources, it should be interpreted as a discharge medication (select "Yes") unless documentation elsewhere in the medical record suggests that it was NOT prescribed at discharge - Consider it a discharge medication in the absence of contradictory documentation.
    • If documentation is contradictory (e.g., physician noted “d/c Coumadin” in the discharge orders, but Coumadin is listed in the discharge summary’s discharge medication list), or after careful examination of circumstances, context, timing, etc., documentation raises enough questions, the case should be deemed "unable to determine" (select "No").
    • Consider documentation of a hold on an anticoagulant after discharge in one location and a listing of that anticoagulant as a discharge medication in another location as contradictory ONLY if the timeframe on the hold is not defined (e.g., “Hold Coumadin”). Examples of a hold with a defined timeframe include “Hold Coumadin x2 days” and “Hold warfarin until after stress test.”
    • If an anticoagulant is NOT listed as a discharge medication, and there is only documentation of a hold or plan to delay initiation/restarting of anticoagulation therapy after discharge (e.g., “Hold Coumadin x2 days,” “Start Coumadin as outpatient,” “Hold Coumadin”), select “No.”
    • If two discharge summaries are included in the medical record, use the one with the latest date/time. If one or both are not dated or timed, and you cannot determine which was done last, use both. This also applies to discharge medication reconciliation forms. Use the dictated date/time over transcribed date/time, file date/time, etc.
      • Two discharge summaries, one dictated 5/22 (day of discharge) and one dictated 5/27 - Use the 5/27 discharge summary.
      • Two discharge medication reconciliation forms, one not dated and one dated 4/24 (day of discharge) - Use both.
  • Disregard an anticoagulant medication documented only as a recommended medication for discharge (e.g., “Recommend sending patient home on dabigatran”). Documentation must be clearer that an anticoagulant was actually prescribed at discharge.
  • Disregard documentation of anticoagulant prescribed at discharge when noted only by medication class (e.g., “Anticoagulant Prescribed at Discharge: Yes” on a core measures form). The anticoagulant must be listed by name.
Suggested Data Sources:
  • Consultation notes
  • Progress notes
  • Physician orders
  • Discharge summary
  • After Visit Summary (AVS)
  • Medication reconciliation form
Additional Notes:
Guidelines for Abstraction:
Inclusion Exclusion
Refer to Appendix C, Table 8.3 for a list of medications used for anticoagulation therapy.
  • Heparin Flush
  • Heparin SQ
  • Hep-Lock

Anticoagulation Therapy Prescribed at Discharge
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Specifications Manual for Joint Commission National Quality Measures (v2021B2)
Discharges 10-1-21 through 12-31-21 (4Q21)


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