Caring for over 10,000 patients on Warfarin
Your 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 body, therefore we require your full cooperation to make this service run efficiently and effectively. When your doctor registers you with our clinic, we’ll send you copy of the Warfarin Care Clinic charter. You’ll need to return the Charter Acceptance Form in order to complete your registration.
Blood testing for monitoring warfarin dosage
You’ll need to have blood tests to check how well warfarin 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 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 QML Pathology collection centre. Click here to find your local centre.
For same-day results, we recommend you have your blood test between 10:00am and 12.00pm. Please remember to bring your current INR card (if you have one) to the collection centre. Where possible, please complete a QML Pathology Warfarin Control Request Form prior to your test. A copy of this form can be downloaded and printed from the Brochures and Forms section of this page. This form has a number of questions that the Warfarin Care Clinic dosing doctor will need to know so please make sure you complete all the questions.
It is very important that you note any changes to contact details, any medication changes or significant health issues, surgeries etc. QML Pathology cannot be held responsible for any adverse event if you have provided inaccurate or incomplete information to our Warfarin Dosing Service.
Warfarin Care Clinic Contact Details
Enrolled patients can contact our Warfarin Care Clinic, via:
Please quote your QML Pathology reference number in the email subject line
Phone 1300 661 963 during the following hours:
Mon-Fri: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm (Voicemail service available 7:00 am–10:00 am)
Sat: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
You’ll always need to provide your reference number when you’re communicating with the Warfarin Care Clinic. 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 Clinic.
- 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 QML Pathology Collection Centres. Just remember to bring your current INR card with you. Where possible, please complete a QML Pathology Warfarin Control Request Form prior to your test.
If you are travelling in Queensland or northern NSW (Northern Rivers region), we have a wide network of collection centres that you can visit. Click here for locations. If you are travelling interstate or overseas we recommend that you contact a doctor at your destination and utilise local services during your stay. When you return home, please call us as soon as possible with your last reading and the next date for your blood test.
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 show a significant positive effect on the stability of INR level. We’ve put together a booklet that explains these aspects. Feel free to contact us for your copy.
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 Clinic when you believe something might affect your test result. When you receive your test results, the Clinic 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. See below for details on how you can receive your results.
QML 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 SMS download, please read and complete the Warfarin Charter & SMS Notification Service and SMS sign up form. You’ll find it in the Brochures and Forms section on this page.
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 QML 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 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 don’t receive a call from the Warfarin Support Service by 10.00am the day after testing, please phone us on 1300 661 963 and quote your patient reference number.
If you can’t make contact with the support service, please continue with your current dose until we’ve successfully contacted you.
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. 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. If you are experiencing significant bleeding you must urgently seek medical advice through your doctor or hospital.