Anti-Coagulation Therapy Clinic
The Anti-Coagulation Therapy Clinic cares for more than 1200 patients taking a variety of anticoagulation medications, all of which are high risk and can cause problems if not managed closely. Clinic nurses have extensive experience in critical care and other areas of nursing. The main goal of the CAT Clinic is to provide patients with a better
quality of service by improving communication between healthcare
providers and implementing a process for quality assurance.
"The clinic is important to the community because we prevent hospitalizations related to clotting or bleeding. We provide extensive education to our patients about their medications and conditions. We assist patients that need to stop their anticoagulation medications for procedures," according to Nurse Practitioner Carla Huber.
Podcast Episode: Anticoagulation Therapy
Carla Huber, ARNP, St. Luke's Heart Care Clinic, joins Dr. Arnold to discuss the CAT Clinic and anticoagulation therapy. They discuss the types of medications used, cost and affordability of the medications, blood clots as a result of COVID-19 and much more.
In Home Patient Monitoring System
UnityPoint Health offers CoagMgr, an at home INR patient monitoring system for patients on chronic anticoagulation therapy for conditions such as atrial fibrillation, mechanical heart valves, hypercoagulable states, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
With CoagMgr, patients can test their INR (International Normalized Ratio) levels at home or on-the-go using a handheld testing device and report results using WebCareHealth’s patent-pending at home INR software. The results are reported by phone, online or via the CoagMgr mobile site and are instantly accessible by a patient’s healthcare provider.
From enrollment to monitoring, reporting to billing, CoagMgr is easy to use. CoagMgr provides the educational resources, patient tracking and compliance, provider notifications, and automated billing reports .
UnityPoint Health cardiology patients enrolled in the CoagMgr program receive a home INR monitor. This allows patients to perform a finger-stick INR testing from the comfort of her home. The finger stick is less painful for most patients and only requires a drop of blood vs a tube of blood at the lab.
Patients using the CoagMgr system don’t have to drive to a lab, in the winter this can be a problem in Iowa or if they winter away from Iowa. It takes a lot less time. When patients use the CoagMgr system they check INRs weekly.The patients call their INR results to CoagMgr and personnel enter the INR into an electronic medical record. Then Cardiology Clinic nurses view the results.
If INRs are in range patients continue the same warfarin dose, we don’t call them. If INR is out of range we call the patient. This process is more streamlined.
Studies support that weekly home testing provides for better clinical outcomes, less bleeding and clotting issues.