Use Alarm Devices to Ensure Consistent Anticoagulant Dosing

​Consistent timing of anticoagulant doses is an important part of minimizing the risk of anticoagulant-related adverse drug events. However, busy staff members can easily miss administration times. Alarm clocks or timers with either audible or visible alarms can remind staff members when anticoagulant doses are due. Ensure that alarm devices are placed in locations where staff members will hear or see them.



  • Choose clocks whose alarms are distinct from other alarm devices on the unit so the signal is unique and easy to identify.
  • Remember that audible alarms can add to the noise level on the unit, disturbing staff concentration and patients at rest. Consider using visual alarms or vibrating pagers instead of audible alarms.
  • Involve patients by placing the alarm clock or timer at their bedside and ask them to alert the staff when the dose is due.
  • Place the alarm device near the point of care so that staff members must be near the patient — or administering the drug to the patient — to turn it off.


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