Trends in POCT for coagulation

Aug. 1, 2009
—Tim Huston
Director of Marketing,
Professional Diagnostics
– Physician Office Lab
Roche Diagnostics Corp.
Maker of CoaguChek anticoagulation
monitoring systems

Patient-focused technology

“There continues to be a significant shift in focus
from the lab to the point of care in PT/INR testing because it is more
convenient for patients and physicians, and because it contributes to a
patient-centered approach known as systematic anticoagulation management
(SAM). Studies show SAM can help improve time in range and reduce the
risk of adverse events, thus improving patient outcomes.

“The POC shift also extends to the patient’s home,
because recent expansions in Medicare coverage have enabled more
patients on warfarin therapy to become involved in self-testing.
Technology is helping to make this continuum of care more seamless. For
example, patients can now use the same meter technology that their
healthcare providers use, which helps maintain consistency in results
and simplifies training. Health service providers use interactive
voice-response technology and computer software to easily capture
results from patient self-testers and flag out-of-range results that
need to be reported to physicians.

“On the healthcare-provider side, advances in product and
software technologies are enabling hospital clinics and physician practices
to manage patient care and regulatory compliance more cost effectively.
Data-management solutions like RALS-Plus from MAS enable clinics to capture
patient results in their LIS — especially helpful for tracking patients
being bridged from heparin to warfarin therapy — and allow lab directors to
easily track compliance across satellite locations for potential regulatory

“Additionally, evolving patient-management software continues to make
patient scheduling and tracking easier for coagulation clinics. Overall, the
shift to ‘decentralized’ point-of-care anticoagulation testing at the
physician’s office and the patient’s home should continue to drive advances
in technology and services in an effort to provide optimal patient care.”