The University of Toledo Medical Center is expanding its Anti-Coagulation Clinic service as of July 1 to help patients understand and properly take their blood thinners.The clinic will continue to be located in the Heart and Vascular Center at UTMC, 3000 Arlington Ave., but will include an extra room. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be Thursday, June 25, at 10 a.m. at the Heart and Vascular Center.
“It is so important for patients to be properly educated about their blood thinners,” said Yana Doughty, the new anti-coagulation pharmacist and outpatient pharmacy supervisor. “Some medications interfere with blood thinners and make them less effective or even dangerous. Some foods may even affect blood thinners and need to be monitored.”
The clinic will continue to be staffed by nurses, but will grow to include Doughty and Dr. Laura Murphy, a UT Health physician. Current and new patients are welcome to utilize the clinic’s expanded services.
“We are making it more centralized and more structured,” Doughty said. “We are going from a walk-in system to an appointment-based model. We want to make sure that our patients are getting enough one-on-one time with our staff. We don’t want anyone to feel rushed.”
The staff also will perform testing, if applicable, to make sure medication levels are appropriate, conduct a bleeding risk assessment, and adjust blood thinners like Coumadin doses based on testing results.
Additionally, the team will obtain a medication history and provide ongoing monitoring for drug interactions. This information will be shared with a patient’s health-care team.
Cindy Puffer, managed care pharmacy operations manager, said patients will appreciate spending significant time talking with a pharmacist who will sit down with them and monitor not only their anti-coagulation medication, but all other medications as well.
“It takes away the fear,” she said. “Most patients who are on blood thinners have gone through some type of medical event like a heart attack or stroke. There is trepidation on the patient’s part when it comes to taking medications and experiencing possible side effects. Having a face-to-face appointment with the pharmacist will make the patients feel better.”