Caring for over 10,000 patients on Warfarin
Your treating doctor or your hospital doctor may have enrolled you in the Dorevitch Pathology Warfarin Care Management Service 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 Management Service.
The Warfarin Care Management Service is not funded by Medicare or any other funding body, therefore we require your full cooperation to make this service run efficiently and effectively. You will need to call us on 03 9244 0200 to complete the registration. Your doctor will advise you to do this. We will complete the registration with you over the phone and then send out to you an Information Pack and request forms.
You’ll need to have blood tests to check how well warfarin is working. At first the blood tests are likely to be more frequent, however once your levels reach the therapeutic range and remain stable, these test dates can be extended. You will need 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. INR targets are a range rather than a single figure because INRs tend to fluctuate and a range allows you (and us) more flexibility.
Your doctor will give you a pathology request form to take along to your Dorevitch Pathology collection centre. Click here to find your local centre . To increase the likelihood of same day results, we recommend you have your test done as early in the morning as possible and definitely before lunch time. For your first test, please allow extra time for your results to come through.
It is very important that you note any changes to contact details, any medication changes or significant health issues, surgeries etc. Dorevitch Pathology cannot be held responsible for any adverse event if you have provided inaccurate or incomplete information to our Warfarin Dosing Service.
Warfarin Care Management Service Contact Details
Enrolled patients can contact our Warfarin Care Management Service, via:
Remember to have a pen and paper handy to record your results, dosage changes or any other relevant details. If you’re due for a blood test, write any new information on your request form.
Unfortunately we cannot respond to mobile SMS messages.
- Medicine changes. If your medication changes for three days or longer (prescribed, or over the counter). This includes heparin (e.g. Clexane®) injection.
- Hospital admission. If you’re admitted or discharged from hospital, please let us know.
- Surgery or dental procedures. You’ll need to advise us of your pre-operative requirements. Ask your doctor for any special instructions relating to when you should recommence your warfarin and let us know at the Warfarin Care Management Service.
- Holidays. You’ll need to tell us if you are going away on holidays so we can make the necessary arrangements for your testing.
- No longer taking warfarin. If you stop taking this medication, our clinic needs to be advised.
For shorter waiting times, we advise that you have your blood test between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm. Your test can be done at any one of our Dorevitch Pathology Collection Centres. Just remember to bring your current INR card with you and your request form.
If you are travelling in regional Victoria, we have a wide network of collection centres that you can visit. Click here for locations. If you are travelling interstate you can have your blood taken at one of our sister laboratories. These are Abbott Pathology for South Australia, TML for Tasmania, Laverty Pathology for NSW and ACT, QML for Queensland and Western Diagnostic Pathology for West Australia. Please complete the Warfarin holiday letter and hand it to the collection team when you are getting your blood taken. You’ll find it in the Brochures and Forms section on this page. The laboratory will then send us the results and we can provide your dose as per normal. If you are overseas we recommend that you contact a doctor at your destination and utilise local services during your stay.
We believe it’s important that warfarin doesn’t impact on your lifestyle. However, some changes are essential in order to control your INR level. Changes to diet and exercise can show a significant effect on the stability of INR level.
Receiving your results
The care we provide is only as effective as our communication. That’s why we strongly advise you to stay in contact with the Warfarin Care Management Service when you believe something might affect your test result. When you receive your test results, the Service may phone you if there are important changes to your dose. Otherwise you’ll receive your results by SMS or in the way that you’ve nominated. You can choose to receive your results via SMS, phone or fax. See below for details on how you can receive your results.
Dorevitch Pathology has implemented an SMS results system designed to provide you with a convenient way to keep track of your warfarin dosage requirements.
To register for our SMS service please call our Warfarin Department on 03 9244 0200 and we will set you up over the phone.
We’ll automatically send your warfarin dosage results via an SMS to your mobile phone so you can monitor your dosage no matter where you are. As with your usual treatment process, you’ll undergo a blood test in the morning. The computer system at Dorevitch Pathology will then automatically send you the result as an SMS.
If you register for the SMS service you won’t receive a phone call as well. However, we may contact you by phone if we need to discuss anything with you. If you have a high reading of 4.0 or greater, NO SMS will be sent, but we will call you.
If you are a new patient and have had your blood collected before 12.00pm, Dorevitch Pathology will endeavour to phone you on the same day your blood test is performed, although in rare cases it may not occur.
If you don’t receive a call from the Warfarin Care Management Service within24 hours of testing, please phone us on 03 9244 0200.
Please rest assured that abnormal results are given top priority so you will be contacted as soon as possible if this is the case. If you are experiencing significant bleeding you must urgently seek medical advice through your doctor or hospital.
If you are an ESTABLISHED patient and an abnormal result is identified you will be contacted as a matter of priority by our staff.
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 you are experiencing significant bleeding you must urgently seek medical advice through your doctor or hospital.