Self-testing device
By Georgina Adamson
Blog 9 August 2016

Yorkshire’s Ilkley Moor Medical Practice pioneered Inhealthcare’s INR self-testing service earlier this year, enabling patients lead less disrupted lives. The service has proved very successful with a 100 patients signed up and regularly testing and receiving warfarin doses electronically.

Now, an improvement to the scheme is being launched to make it faster and more efficient for the local healthcare service. The change means self-monitoring warfarin patients send their results immediately from home directly into the clinic’s dosing system. The nurse no longer needs to manually copy test results between system, with automatic dose calculation eliminating almost all of the admin for the NHS team and allowing patients to receive their updated dose in less time.

How does it work?
When a patient’s test is due, the service alerts the patient to take a finger prick blood sample and put it into a self-testing device to measure their blood clotting speed. The reading is sent to the local clinic and software automatically calculates the patient’s new warfarin dose for it to be checked and confirmed by a nurse.

The improved system reduces the time it takes for the patient’s dose to be relayed back to them, and for their medical records to be updated. Patients can receive helpline guidance and advise from clinicians.

Lead GP for the service, Dr Mark French, said: “Ilkley Moor’s warfarin monitoring service places patient convenience at its heart. Our rural location means clinics can be hard to reach for some, so delivering rapid results to patients in their homes makes all the difference. On top of this, we’ve helped to ease waiting room pressures and reduce paperwork for our anticoagulation team. Everybody wins with the benefits health tech can deliver for patients, clinicians and the NHS alike.” As the first practice in the Yordales Health GP Federation to offer the service, Ilkley Moor recently ran a survey of the 100 patients on its service. It found 86 per cent of respondents rated the service ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, while 71 per cent of respondents said it allowed them time for travel or to take time off work.

One of those using the Ilkley Moor self-monitoring service is Martin Smith. Listen to the Radio Yorkshire interview below to find out how INR self-testing has extended his working life.

At Inhealthcare, we are delighted with this enhancement to our service. Reducing costs at the same time as improving outcomes for patients means that both patients themselves and the NHS are benefiting. The self-monitoring service will also be introduced at Grassington Medical Centre in the coming months. If rolled out nationally to users of warfarin, this could replace 20 million visits to clinics annually.

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