An estimated 3-4 million Americans are on anticoagulants in order to treat or prevent blood clots. Oversight and education by expert clinicians can help these patients avoid bleeding or clotting.

The MGH Anticoagulation Management Service (AMS) is among the nation’s oldest and largest anticoagulation clinics. Established in 1969 in cardiology, the Anticoagulant Therapy Unit (ATU – as it was known then) traditionally focused on the outpatient management of warfarin therapy. In 1972, the ATU became fully computerized, including use of a computerized decision support tool for dosing warfarin and scheduling blood tests. In 1982, the first registered nurse was hired. In 2005, a strategic decision was made to move the ‘old’ ATU into the Department of Nursing. A new name was added, the AMS, to reflect more than just warfarin management. Today the AMS has a team of 15 nurses and 5 administrative support personnel in order provide comprehensive education and management to nearly 4500 patients on warfarin therapy.

AMS Tip Sheet

AMS Icon Tip Sheet
Internal Access

The AMS Icon remains the best source of truth to determine a patient’s pill size when writing prescriptions. To obtain this information, click on the pink AMS ICON found on the Epic patient header.

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Overview and History of AMS

Primary Goals:

  • Comprehensive education to patients and families
  • Emphasis on timely communication, especially during transitions in care or drug therapy
  • Optimize day-to-day management and monitoring of patients on warfarin (with or without LMWHs)
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MGH AMS Recognized by
Anticoagulation Forum as a
Center of Excellence

The most therapeutic aspect of the anticoagulation experience at MGH AMS is the relationship a patient has with his nurse. Though the MGH AMS relies on a robust noncompliance process, we work collaboratively with patients, families and referring physicians to provide for the highest quality patient care and safety through consistent direct communication to avoid noncompliance. The goal is to improve adherence, not discharge patients.