Mass General and Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH) staff have been working together for the past eight months to ensure a safe, efficient and thoughtful transition plan for the more than 600 anticoagulation patients who will now receive their care at the MGH Anticoagulation Management Services (AMS) Clinic. The transition began in February with a planned closure of NWH’s AWS Clinic—which officially occurred October 2. Then, COVID-19 hit.

“When COVID hit we redeployed 35% of our staff to the inpatient COVID effort, but the AMS Clinic continued to work at 100% capacity and continued to bring new NWH patients aboard,” says Janet Madden, RN, nursing director of the MGH AMS, who has played a vital role in the transition process.

Since learning of the transition of patients to the clinic, Madden and the clinic staff have worked tirelessly to help make the transition as smooth as possible. This included helping to write the business contract, figuring out the clinic work flow from a high level, and working with colleagues to revise and create educational materials, a video and welcome letter to share with patients.

The MGH AMS Clinic—although it is an ambulatory clinic providing care for patients on Warfarin and other direct oral anticoagulants—delivers direct care to patients solely by nurses, and is one of only a few Mass General clinics that falls under the leadership of Nursing and Patient Care Services. “Our clinic is led, along with myself, by our two physician co-directors, Ido Weinberg, MD, and Annemarie Fogerty, MD, and every patient has a physician who has referred them to us,” says Madden. “Though AMS nurses are at the front line of our patients’ care, physicians also are key in collaboration.”

Patients will continue to receive the same high-quality care at Mass General as they did at NWH. Despite challenges of staffing numbers and COVID-19, the AMS Clinic nursing team remains dedicated to bringing aboard the remaining patients from NWH as soon as possible—currently transitioning about 10-15 patients per week.

“It is no small task to bring aboard our new patients, but our AMS Clinic nurses continue to offer up their extra time to call NWH patients for a 30- to 45-minute phone call to introduce the clinic, introduce themselves and educate patients about us,” says Madden. “At this point our staff know what we’re up against. They do a very good job a what they do. They should be very proud. We are eager to bring the remaining patients on and glad to keep them within the MGB system.”