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Interventions to Increase Leukocyte Testing during Treatment with Dimethyl Fumarate.

Heidenreich PA, Lin S, Gholami P, Moore VR, Burk ML, Glassman PA, Cunningham FE, Sahay A. Interventions to Increase Leukocyte Testing during Treatment with Dimethyl Fumarate. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021 Sep 30; 18(19).

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Dimethyl fumarate (DMF), a treatment for multiple sclerosis, may cause leukopenia and infection. Accordingly, periodic white blood cell (WBC) monitoring is recommended. We sought to evaluate the US Department of Veteran Affairs' safety program which provides facilities with a list of patients prescribed DMF therapy without a documented white blood cell count (WBC). We identified 118 sites with patients treated with DMF from 1 January 2016 through 30 September 2016. Each site was asked if any of seven interventions were used to improve WBC monitoring (academic detailing, provider education without academic detailing, electronic clinical reminders, request for provider action plan, draft orders for WBC monitoring, patient mailings, and patient calls). The survey response rate was 78%. For the 92 responding sites (78%) included sites (1115 patients) the mean rate of WBC monitoring was 54%. In multivariate analysis, academic detailing increased the rate by 17% (95% CI 4 to 30%, = 0.011) and provider education increased the rate by 9% (95% CI 0.6 to 18%, = 0.037). The WBC monitoring rate increased by 3.8% for each additional intervention used (95% CI 1.2-6.4%, = 0.005). Interventions focused on the physician, including academic detailing, were associated with improved WBC monitoring for patients at risk for leukopenia from DMF treatment.

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