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Home Monitoring of Blood-Thinner Use Appears Effective
Date:10/21/2010

e frequent monitoring is much safer and ideal. If the technical accuracy of home monitoring is the same, and we can be assured that the patient is using home monitoring properly, then I don't have a problem with it," said Siegel.

Although the current study didn't find a significant difference in preventing serious outcomes, Dr. L. Bernardo Menajovsky, director of the anticoagulation clinic at the Scott and White Healthcare Center for Diagnostic Medicine in Temple, Texas, noted that a significant number of healthier people were enrolled in it.

"About 40 percent of the study population were at low risk to have bad outcomes," he said, adding that if the researchers had been able to look at more people in a high-risk group, they may have seen an improvement with the more frequent home monitoring.

But, "home testing alone isn't going to be the answer [for improving complications]. We need good patient education, and after that, the next step is home management," he said, explaining that people could be trained to test themselves and then make adjustments to their medication doses, similar to the way diabetes is managed.

The study was sponsored by the VA's Cooperative Studies Program.

More information

To learn more about blood thinners, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

SOURCES: Rowena Dolor, M.D., staff physician in ambulatory care service, and research associate in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and assistant professor, division of internal medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor of medicine and internal medicine specialist, New York University School of Medicine, and NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; L. Bernardo Menajovsky, M.D., internal medicine specialist and director of
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