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Anticoagulation Clinic at Vanderbilt Heart designated an Anticoagulation Center of Excellence

Jun. 9, 2021, 9:00 AM

The Anticoagulation Clinic at Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute (VHVI) has been designated an Anticoagulation Center of Excellence by the Anticoagulation Forum, one of only three in Tennessee.

“We are proud to be recognized as an Anticoagulation Center of Excellence,” said Michael Baker, MD, medical director of the clinic. “This achievement reflects years of hard work and dedication to the highest standards of anticoagulant therapy by the nurses, medical assistants and pharmacists who care for our patients here at Vanderbilt.”

The Anticoagulation Centers of Excellence program helps health care professionals provide the highest level of care and achieve the best possible outcomes for patients on antithrombotic medications. The program offers a roadmap to consistent, sustainable excellence in five key areas of patient care — Patient and Family Education; Disease State Management; Drug Therapy Management; and Transition of Care and Coordination of Care Quality/Clinic Operational Performance. Because it successfully met the rigorous standards in each patient care pillar, VHVI is considered an Anticoagulation Center of Excellence for three years.

Obtaining the designation was a team effort that included clinical manager Lou Kaelin, MSN, RN; and clinical pharmacist specialist Anwesa Chakrabarti, PharmD. As part of the process, Chakrabarti obtained the Certified Anticoagulant Care Provider (CACP) credential, which was a requirement to obtain the Center of Excellence designation.

“The process of obtaining the Center of Excellence allowed us to streamline our operational performance, improve transition of care and knowledge of drug therapy and enhance patient education while learning more about disease state management,” Kaelin said. “This educational program will have a lasting and profound effect on anticoagulation care for many years to come.”

Vanderbilt’s Anticoagulation Clinic serves approximately 2,800 patients, primarily in a “virtual clinic” capacity that permits patients to have laboratory testing performed either at home or in their home community. There are also three physical locations — Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks, Murfreesboro and Franklin, Tennessee.

Kaelin said the care team is dedicated to ensuring patients are well educated about anticoagulant medications to keep them safe. Most patients are considered lifetime or indefinite patients, and form a long-standing, trusted relationship with their anticoagulation nurses.

Chakrabarti noted that only about one in four practices that take the required assessment become a Center of Excellence.

“This is a big honor,” she said. “It signifies that we are committed to providing the highest level of care to patients taking these medications. It is part of a program that offers a road map to sustainable excellence. It is a long path to get here, but it is also the beginning of a greater commitment to excellence with support from a national organization.”

The Anticoagulation Forum is a multidisciplinary non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of care for patients taking antithrombotic medications. The forum promotes the clinical application of evidence-based practices, and provides education and networking opportunities for health care professionals.

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