Research shows that self-testing is a reliable alternative to clinic-based testing and can improve anticoagulation management for patients. In fact, it can even increase quality measures including:1-3
- Time patients spend in therapeutic range
- Adherence with prescribed test frequency
- Patient satisfaction
- Quality of life measures
A simple fingerstick test is easy for most patients or their caregivers to perform. One study found that 87% of patients found testing with a CoaguChek® system easy, and they were confident in the result.2 What’s more, over three-quarters of patients who have tried it say they prefer self-testing with a CoaguChek meter over clinic testing.
In addition, a study designed to gauge patient satisfaction with anticoagulation monitoring 2 years after beginning therapy found that satisfaction was higher among the self-testing group compared those who tested at a clinic.1
Recognizing good self-testing candidates
PT/INR self-testing may be a good option for anyone who:
- Is on long-term warfarin therapy, and has taken it for at least 3 months
- Has a mechanical heart valve, chronic atrial fibrillation or venous thromboembolism
- Finds it difficult to provide a blood sample from a vein
- Has a busy schedule, or finds traveling to appointments inconvenient
Required face-to-face education by a certified trainer ensures that the patient understands how to properly perform a test and report the results.
- Getting Started with Patient Self-Testing
Once you determine that a patient might be a good candidate for self-testing, it’s easy to
arrange for everything else they need. You’ll work with an independent diagnostic testing facility such as CoaguChek® Patient Services to provide a meter, training and ongoing support.
For example, CoaguChek Patient Services provides:
- Medicare and insurance coverage verification
- Face-to-face patient training by a certified healthcare professional
- Shipping the meter and testing supplies
- Result reporting and communication
- Result management
- Gentle testing reminders to your patients
Some service providers work with multiple PT/INR monitoring systems and quality of services may vary. Make sure you prescribe the CoaguChek XS meter and test strips through CoaguChek Patient Services to ensure your patients get all the benefits you see described here.
Please contact your CoaguChek representative to start offering self-testing at your practice.
- Matchar DB, Jacobson A, Dolor R, et al. Effect of home testing of international normalized ratio on clinical events. N Engl J Med. 2010;363:1608-1620.
- Gardiner C, Williams K, Mackie IJ, Machin SJ, Cohen H. Patient self-testing is a reliable and acceptable alternative to laboratory INR monitoring. Br J Haematol. 2004;128;242-247.
- Ansell, J; Hirsh,J; Hylek, E; Jacobson, A; Crowther, M;et al. Pharmacology and Management of the Vitamin K Antagonists: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines (8th Edition) Chest 2008;133;160-198