Many people need to take anticoagulation medications, often called blood thinners, to help prevent harmful blood clotting. Warfarin, heparins, and the newer direct-acting anticoagulants are common life-saving prescriptions that are used for certain heart conditions or abnormal blood clotting conditions, but they can be harmful if not properly monitored. Warfarin especially requires monitoring of blood levels which can often be thrown off by eating certain foods, illness, or interactions with other medications.
The pharmacists who staff the Anticoagulation Clinic at Providence Newberg Medical Center have decades of experience helping people take blood thinners safely and effectively. From providing education for self-empowerment to providing useful feedback and medication reviews, they will work with each patient face-to-face to help them navigate their individual anticoagulation program. It has been proven time and again that when pharmacists manage warfarin, it can increase the frequency of therapeutic INR levels which will in turn increase the safety and effectiveness of anticoagulation and allow you and your physician to spend more time discussing other health concerns.
Your initial visit will be a 45-minute consult for education and counselling, reviewing your medications, and addressing your questions and concerns. The pharmacist will then do a small finger prick and within a minute you will know what your INR number is. Any adjustments to your dose will be done in the same visit. Follow-up visits are often about 15 minutes or less. The newer direct-acting oral anticoagulants such as Eliquis and Xarelto are also monitored with a yearly face-to-face visit and patient-specific laboratory monitoring for anemia and liver function, to ensure safe use of these medications.