Laboratory Initiative improves blood clot monitoring for Warfarin patients

Monday September 19, 2011

Canterbury Health Laboratories is leading the way in monitoring of patients on blood clot prevention medication Warfarin.

Patients in Canterbury are being offered increased access to point of care testing in the community for monitoring of Warfarin use.

Canterbury Health Laboratories Quality and Business Development Manager Kevin Taylor says this testing involves a simple finger prick and produces a result within minutes, ensuring Warfarin doses are managed immediately.

“The traditional monitoring method involves a blood sample being analysed and a General Practitioner interpreting of the results, followed by a second patient contact for dosage modification,” Kevin says.

“The new method will mean patients on Warfarin can get faster results creating a safer and more cost effective treatment plan, as well as a possible reduction in the frequency of testing.”

CHL first successfully introduced community based ‘finger prick test’ monitoring at their Ashburton laboratory blood collection centre more than 18 months ago and have now been able to trial the system at an urban and rural location in the Canterbury region.

Initial results collected post-February 2011, have found Canterbury GPs are leading the way in successfully monitoring their Warfarin patients, with the region performing 15 percent higher than national figures in maintaining patient levels at acceptable standards.

“This has been improved even further through the introduction of the new monitoring system.”

When looking at the data the first thing we noticed was how well Canterbury GPs were doing at keeping the dosage of their patients within appropriate ranges,” Kevin says.​

Page last reviewed: 13 February 2014