Warfarin Care Clinic
Warfarin is a medicine used to treat or prevent blood clots. It is a type of blood-thinning medicine known as an anticoagulant (anti-clotting) and is taken in tablet form, once per day. There are many things that can affect how Warfarin works on each person, therefore if you are taking warfarin you will need to be closely monitored to make sure you are taking just the right amount.
Your usual treating doctor or your hospital doctor may have enrolled you in the QML Pathology Warfarin Care Clinic so that we can monitor your blood and keep your Warfarin dosage at a safe level. Patients cannot self-register because we require a detailed medical history. You will need to speak with your doctor about enrolling in the Warfarin Care Clinic.
The Warfarin Care Clinic is not funded by Medicare or any other funding source, therefore we require your full cooperation to make this service run efficiently and effectively. Your responsibilities are laid out in the Warfarin Care Clinic Charter. You will be provided with a copy of the charter when your doctor registers you and you will need to return the Charter Acceptance Form in order to complete your registration.
Receiving Your Results
Communication about your INR blood test result is a two-way street. You will need to make sure you have notified QML Pathology Warfarin Care Clinic about anything that might affect your test result. Upon receipt of your test results the QML Pathology Warfarin Care Clinic may telephone you if there are important changes to your dose; otherwise you will receive your results by SMS or other means (as nominated).
Please see below for information on receiving results for the following:
Setup for SMS - Receiving Warfarin Results by SMS
Undergoing Warfarin therapy can greatly encroach on your life and freedom – especially if you constantly have to get blood tests and wait by the phone for results. In order to help with this, QML Pathology has implemented an SMS results system to provide you with a convenient way to keep track of your Warfarin dosage requirements.
To register for SMS download, read and complete the Warfarin Charter & SMS Notification Service and SMS sign up form in the Downloads section in our FAQ on this page.
QML Pathology will automatically send your Warfarin dosage results via an SMS to your mobile phone, allowing you to monitor your dosage no matter where you are.
As with your usual treatment process, you will undergo a blood test in the morning. Instead of then receiving a phone call to inform you of your dosage level, the computer system at QML Pathology will automatically send you the result as an SMS message. This will make the process of receiving results far quicker.
New Patients (less than 4 weeks on our program)
If you are a new patient and have had your blood collected before 12.00pm, QML Pathology will endeavour to phone you on the same day your blood test is performed.
If you do not receive a call from the Warfarin Support Service by 10.00am the next day after testing, please phone us on 1300 661 963 and quote your patient reference number. If you cannot make contact with the support service, continue with your current dose until contact is achieved.
Established Patients (more than 4 weeks on our program)
If you are an established patient and an abnormal result is identified you will be contacted as a matter of priority by our staff, however, until we contact you it is important that you continue taking your current dose of Warfarin.
If there are changes to your dose you will be contacted within 48 hours to confirm your new dosage and the date of your next blood test.
If your INR result and Warfarin doses are stable you may receive your results in the post. If you do not receive your results within 2-3 days then you should contact the Warfarin Support Service on 1300 661 963 to confirm your INR and Warfarin doses.
You will require regular blood tests to check how well your Warfarin dosage is working. At first the blood tests will be done every second or third day. When the blood level is stable, the frequency of testing will reduce to weekly, fortnightly and then longer intervals. You will require regular blood testing as long as you remain on warfarin.
The blood test result is referred to as an INR (International Normalised Ratio). This is a measure of the time it takes for your blood to clot. The higher the INR, the thinner the blood and the less warfarin you need. The lower the INR the more likely it is that you will develop a clot, so you may need more warfarin. Your warfarin levels need to be in the right range for your individual set of circumstances.
Your doctor will give you a pathology request form that you will take along to your nearest QML Pathology collection centre. It is preferable that you have your blood test before 12.00pm as this will allow enough time for same day results.
Please bring with you:
- Current INR card (if you have been given one).
- Completed QML Pathology Warfarin Control Request Form (where possible)
- This form has a number of questions that the Warfarin Care Clinic dosing doctor needs to know. It also allows you to communicate with us about any important changes. Please complete ALL questions.
Medicine changes – If any medicine changes are for 3 days or longer (prescribed, or over the counter). Including if you are taking heparin (e.g. Clexane®) injection.
Hospital Admission/Discharge – If you are admitted or discharged to hospital.
Surgery/procedures – Contact us if you are to have any surgery or dental procedures to advise us of your pre-operative requirements. Ask the doctor for any special instructions on when you should recommence your warfarin. Provide this information to the Warfarin Care Clinic.
Holidays – Tell us if you are going away on holidays so we can make the necessary arrangements for your testing.
No longer taking Warfarin – Tell us if you are stopping Warfarin.
If you are travelling in Queensland or Northern New South Wales (Northern Rivers region), we have a wide network of collection centres that you can visit. Find your closest collection centre here. If you are travelling interstate or overseas we recommend that you contact a doctor at your destination and utilise local services during your stay. On return, please call the QML Pathology Warfarin Care Clinic as soon as possible with your last reading and the next date for your blood test.
We believe it is important that Warfarin does not inhibit aspects of your lifestyle; however, some changes are essential in order to control your INR level. Changes to diet and exercise show a significant positive effect on the stability of INR level. A booklet explaining these aspects can be obtained from us, please speak to the QML Pathology Warfarin Care Clinic operator when they next call in relation to your result.
Always provide your reference number with any communications. Have a pen and paper (or your notebook) ready to record your results and/or dosage changes, or other information. If you are due to have a blood test, then write any new information on your request form.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND MOBILE SMS MESSAGES. WE CANNOT RESPOND.