C. Anderson Engh, Jr. MD, William J. Culpepper II MA, Patricia A. Charette RN,Rachel Brown RN
Patient Self-Testing of Prothrombin Time After Hip Arthroplasty
ABSTRACT: We determined whether total hip arthroplasty (THA) patients could test their own prothrombin time reliably over 6 weeks of anticoagulation prophylaxis with a portable device that measures prothrombin time and whether selftesting would improve or maintain the quality of care at a lower cost than our standard procedure. Forty-six THA patients participated in the study and were compared with a matched group managed with our standard protocol using a home health-care nurse. Seven patients (15%) could not be trained to obtain the blood sample, and others required multiple finger sticks to obtain valid results. However, the results from the 29 patients completing the study showed high reliability when compared with results obtained through standard protocol. Self-testing saved about $260 per patient over the cost of venipuncture. Patient self-testing of prothrombin time using the device in this study is reliable and cost-effective for monitoring the anticoagulation status after THA in a select group of elderly patients.