Improving Hydroxychloroquine Dosing and Toxicity Screening at a Tertiary Care Ambulatory Centre: A Quality Improvement Initiative.

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Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a commonly used weight-based medication with a risk of retinal toxicity when prescribed at doses above 5 mg/kg/day. The objectives of our study were: (1) To characterize the frequency of inappropriate HCQ dosing and retinopathy screening and (2) to improve guideline-based management by implementing quality improvement (QI) strategies.A retrospective chart review was performed to obtain baseline analysis of HCQ dosing, weight documentation, and retinal toxicity screening to characterize current practices. The primary aim was to increase the percentage of patients appropriately dosed from 30% to 90% over a tenmonth period. The secondary aim was to increase the percentage of documented retinal screening from 59% to 90%. The process measure was the number of patients with a documented weight in the chart. The balancing measure was the physician's perceived increase in time spent with each patient due to implemented interventions. QI methodology was used to implement sequential change ideas: (1) HCQ weight-based dosing charts to facilitate prescription regimens, (2) addition of scales to patient rooms to facilitate weight documentation, and (3) electronic medical record 'force function' involving weight documentation and auto-dosing prescription.The percentage of patients being weighed increased from 40% to 92% after ten months. Appropriate HCQ dosing improved from 30% to 89%. Retinal screening documentation improved by 33%.Dosing charts in clinic rooms, addition of weight scales, and EMR force function autodosing prescriptions significantly improved appropriate HCQ dosing practices. These interventions are generalizable and can promote safe and guideline-based care.

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