ROCHESTER, MN. — Patients who visit the anticoagulation clinics at Mayo Clinic are at high risk for viruses like COVID-19. To meet patient needs and continue safe practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayo Clinic is now offering drive-up services for anticoagulation patients for their regularly scheduled appointments at the Mayo Primary Care Northeast Clinic in Rochester, as well as at Mayo Clinic Health System campuses in Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna and Red Wing.
Patients will be notified about the process and where to arrive for their scheduled appointment. When a patient arrives at the drive-up testing location, a nurse comes to the vehicle, obtains the sample and briefly asks necessary health screening questions. This process keeps the patient from entering the clinic and decreases contact time to approximately five minutes.
Patients taking warfarin (Coumadin) have a diagnosis of a cardiovascular condition, such as history of blood clots, atrial fibrillation, stroke or valve replacement. By nature of their chronic conditions, these patients are considered to be high-risk if they are exposed to COVID-19.
"We were concerned about these patients entering the clinic and being exposed to the general public," says Angela Mattson, D.N.P., R.N., nursing administrator at Mayo Clinic. "Canceling appointments for anticoagulation patients is very concerning because if a patient's international normalized ratio (INR) is not measured, they are at an increased risk of a bleeding or clotting event. Therefore, we decided to implement a drive-up testing process with our patients’ safety in mind." Patients are screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arrival.
Anticoagulation clinics at Mayo Clinic serve patients who are on warfarin, a medication that prevents blood clots. Anticoagulation patients are seen to manage their doses of warfarin. A blood sample is collected to determine these patients' INR. Since this sample is taken in the clinic, patient visits require registration, waiting time and time in an exam room. The frequency of patient visits is determined by the stability of their international normalized ratio.
Mattson reminds patients if they see this drive-up testing location, it's not a testing site for COVID-19. "There are multiple other changes in services related to COVID-19 and you can visit Mayo Clinic COVID-19 website at mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19. The change in anticoagulation drive-up testing is another example of Mayo Clinic's primary value: The needs of the patient come first. We are using innovation to bring the necessary care to patients in these uncertain times, with the goal of protecting their safety," adds Mattson.
Press ContactRick Thiesse