Building a Better System: Kelly Rudd Promotes Excellence and Stewardship

​Kelly Rudd, PharmD.
​Kelly Rudd, PharmD.

Anticoagulant drugs save lives by breaking down errant blood clots and preventing deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, or strokes. But blood clotting is really a feature, not a malfunction, of our bodies. If a patient experiences life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding, those drugs quickly go from preserving to endangering life.  

So how can you stop the effect of an anticoagulant during an emergency?

Bassett's director of network pharmacy services, Kelly Rudd, PharmD., wants to help her colleagues answer that question for those dire situations. She is part of a team that recently produced and presented a new "Rapid Resource" for the Anticoagulation Forum, a national organization that promotes best practices on the subject of anticoagulation. The one page reference can be hung in a clinic or kept on file to be reviewed on the fly.

"This resource gathers together the best information from previously published guides and new literature," says Rudd. In particular, it offers guidance on the use of anticoagulation reversal agents that can counteract blood thinners. "These are great new drugs and this resource establishes best practices for using them."

Those practices include guidance on how much of the reversal drugs to administer, based on the type, dose and time of the patient's last anticoagulant. "When patients in our care have a life-threatening bleed, the need is urgent and we want to act quickly. These remarkable drugs are also costly — some are tens of thousands of dollars. So we don't want to use them when they are ineffective or not needed."

Rudd has been contributing to the field of anticoagulation for some time. In December 2019, she presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists about anticoagulation protocol developed here at Bassett.

"Both the Management of Anticoagulation in the Peri-Procedural Period (MAPPP) protocol and our 'Rapid Resource' are part of a burgeoning movement toward improving anticoagulation stewardship," Rudd explains. "We want to act swiftly and use our tools effectively. We are thinking out our process and treatments to build better systems to make anticoagulation therapy safer and more effective overall."

Bassett Medical Center has been recognized as an Anticoagulation Center of Excellence for the last six years. Rudd is also the president-elect of the National Certification Board for Anticoagulation Providers and steering committee member for the Anticoagulation Forum.