The continued increasing number of patients undergoing oral anticoagulation therapy has led to the construction of different methods for therapeutic monitoring. Implementing point of care (POC or near-patient) tests for international normalized ratio (INR) is a technical advancement that has facilitated the transfer of services from traditional hospital environments.
Diagnostic tests performed outside the laboratory are defined as POC processes. Technological developments, especially miniaturization and reduction in user operator variables, lead to increased usefulness in POC testing. However, this must be done within the safe practices of quality control procedures.
The Important Role POC Plays in INR Testing
Ultimately, the value of a diagnostic test, especially the POC test, is only clinically important for influencing the diagnosis, management or prognostics of a disease. The adjustments in dosage are made according to the deficit shown in INR when it is measured. Throughout the evaluation of INR POC tests, clinical factors in management, particularly the quality of care, are considerably improved.
The ability to conduct an INR test with a patient makes clinical management easier; improves and overcomes concerns related to delays between testing & dosing.
INR POC Monitoring is the Need of the Hour
A systematic review of POC testing devices showed that, compared to laboratory results, there was a good correlation between INRs got from equipment like PT INR machines. So, the accuracy of results is at par, as well as quick, as compared to labs. PT INR machines are so simple to operate that even non-laboratory staff can also achieve reliable results.
There is clear ‘quality of life’ benefit for patients, and even managing anticoagulant therapies becomes easy. Evidence to date shows the high potential of POC testing systems for both primary and psychotropic care.