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Telephone-based anticoagulation management in the homebound setting: a retrospective observational study

Authors Hassan S, Naboush A, Radbel J, Assad R, Alkaied H, Demissie S, Terjanian T

Received 17 June 2013

Accepted for publication 17 September 2013

Published 3 December 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 869—875


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

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Samer Hassan,1,* Ali Naboush,1,* Jared Radbel,1,* Razan Asaad,1 Homam Alkaied,2 Seleshi Demissie,3 Terenig Terjanian2

1Division of Internal Medicine, 2Division of Hematology/Oncology, 3Division of Statistics; Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, NY, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Anticoagulation management is currently performed through anticoagulation clinics or self-managed with or without the help of medical services. Homebound patients are a unique population that cannot utilize anticoagulation clinics or self-testing. Telephone-based anticoagulation management could be an alternative to the traditional methods of monitoring warfarin in this subgroup. The objective of this retrospective, observational study is to investigate the feasibility of warfarin management in homebound patients.
Methods: This study was performed through the use of telephone-based adjustments of warfarin dose based on an international normalized ratio (INR) result. Four hundred forty-eight homebound patients referred to the anticoagulation clinic at Staten Island University Hospital were visited at home by a phlebotomist; a blood sample was drawn for initial laboratory testing. A nurse practitioner then called the patient or designated person to relay the INR result and to direct dosage adjustment. INR results and dosage changes were entered into an electronic medical record and analyzed statistically.
Results: The mean percentage of INR values in range was 58.39%. The mean time when the INR was in the therapeutic range was 62.75%. The percent of patients who were therapeutically controlled decreased as the number of medications increased. The complication rate was 4% per patient year, with an equal distribution between bleeding and clotting. These values compared favorably to other studies in which monitoring was performed through anticoagulation clinics or self-monitoring. The cost per visit at our anticoagulation clinic was found to be approximately $300 compared with $82 when utilizing our homebound service.
Conclusion: Telephone-based management of warfarin therapy in the homebound setting is feasible. It can lower the cost of health care expenditures compared to other modalities of anticoagulation management.

Keywords: warfarin, anticoagulation, homebound, telephone-based, anticoagulation clinic, INR

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