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Cost effectiveness of monitoring warfarin therapy using standard versus capillary prothrombin times



Cost effectiveness of monitoring warfarin therapy using standard versus capillary prothrombin times



American Journal of Clinical Pathology 91(5): 587-589



The authors assessed the cost effectiveness of monitoring warfarin therapy guided by standard plasma prothrombin times performed on blood samples obtained by venipuncture versus prothrombin times performed on capillary whole blood samples obtained by fingerstick. Twenty patients receiving long-term oral anticoagulation had either standard or capillary prothrombin times determined every other week for eight weeks in a cross-over design. All time intervals were monitored, including receptionist, secretarial, nursing, phlebotomy, etc., and costs for all materials, procedures, and labor were calculated. The total cost per test by the capillary whole blood prothrombin time method was significantly less than by standard prothrombin time methods ($7.55 vs. $15.64) even though the nurse-patient encounter time was greater per test for the capillary method (12.4 minutes vs. 8.3 minutes). The management of oral anticoagulation guided by prothrombin times performed on instrumentation designed to sample capillary whole blood should result in a significant cost savings, and because of the immediate availability of results, provide the potential for improved health care.

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Accession: 007165565

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2497638

DOI: 10.1093/ajcp/91.5.587


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