Valley Health System's Anticoagulation Management Service is a monitoring program for patients taking warfarin (Coumadin®).
What is warfarin (Coumadin®)?
Warfarin (Coumadin®) is the most commonly used anticoagulant; a drug used to prevent unwanted and dangerouls blood clots. The potential negative interactions between warfarin and a variety of drugs, foods and herbal products demands close monitoring to assure patient safety and drug effectiveness. A blood test to find your INR (how fast your blood clots) is done about once a month to determine the correct dose of warfarin for you.
Why do I need warafarin?
- Unwanted blood clots may cause strokes, heart attacks, and other very serious events such as blood clots in the legs or lungs.
- It is prescribed for a variety of conditions, which most commonly include atrial fibrillation, heart valve replacement, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, transient ischemic attack, stroke, cancer, and hip and knee replacement.
What is an Anticoagulation Management Service?
A team composed of specially trained advance practice nurses (APNs) and registered nurses (RNs) from The Valley Hospital will work collaboratively with you, your family, and your physician to provide a comprehensive approach in managing your anticoagulation therapy.
- A single drop of blood is obtained via a simple finger stick, rather than a venous blood draw.
- The results of the INR test are know in just minutes using the CoaguCheck XS Plus point of care testing device.
- The APN/RN instructs the patient of any changes in warfarin dosing, if necessary, based on the anticoagulation management protocol agreed to by your physician.
- During each visit the APN/RN reviews all medications and dietary habits and discusses signs and symptoms of possible negative effects of warfarin.
What are the benefits of this service?
- Decreased risk of complications
- Increased patient access to education and support
- Face-to-face contact with a specialized healthcare professional
- Improved turnaround time for test results
How does the service work?
Your physician must fax a completed authorization form to the Anticoagulation Management Service. You are then responsible for scheduling your appointment by calling Valley Health Community Care at 973-427-7676 #0. Patients are only seen by appointment so there is little or no wait time. Follow-up visits are scheduled depending on your needs.
A complete communication report is sent to the authorizing physician the day of your appointment.