WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is one of about 20 hospitals nationwide to receive the DREAM (Dream of Reaching Excellence in Anticoagulation Management) Award from Roche Diagnostics.
The award is for the Medical Center’s ongoing dedication to providing advanced anticoagulation therapy to its patients and its leadership in anticoagulation therapy in the region.
Anticoagulants are medications that interfere with the normal clotting process of blood. They are used to prevent strokes in patients who have mechanical heart valves, who have a heart rhythm problem known as atrial fibrillation, who develop blood clots in the deep veins of the legs and groin, or who have certain other medical conditions.
The medications must be carefully monitored to determine the ideal dose. In addition, drug interactions can also increase or decrease the effects of the drugs, resulting in bleeding or clots. The Medical Center’s Department of Pharmacy has a special clinic to manage anticoagulant therapy in its patients. It manages about 500 patients with more than 7,000 patient visits each year.
“The clinic makes it easy for our patients to receive excellent care,” said William C. Little, M.D., professor and chief of cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist.
To be considered for the award, a hospital must manage at least 250 patients who are on the therapy and have a systematic process that includes blood testing to monitor drug levels. In addition, hospital personnel must complete training in anticoagulation management, use standard practice guidelines, have a plan for ongoing clinical improvement evaluation and action, and track and review test outcomes to ensure improved patient care.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.