Affinity Care uses INRstar Engage self-testing app and INRstar for improved patient outcomes and lifestyle
When LumiraDx, home of INRstar, launched its innovative INRstar Engage patient self-testing app in 2017, the idea was rapidly taken up by Affinity Care, a GP super-partnership caring for 65,000 patients across West Yorkshire.
As experienced users of INRstar, the UK’s leading anticoagulation management system, Affinity Care, headquartered in Bradford, now runs a large community anticoagulation service for 700+ patients across seven local practices.
Affinity Care was keen to pilot the warfarin self-testing programme delivered via INRstar Engage, which also offers patients digital dosing diaries and DOAC support to help anticoagulant patients manage their condition and provide a new way for patients and care teams to connect. INRstar Engage is now available in the NHS Apps Library.
Warfarin self-testing using INRstar Engage
The warfarin self-testing programme in INRstar Engage enables patients taking warfarin to self-test their INR levels at home, work, or anywhere in the world.1 They can then send their test result, answer safety questions and add comments, directly to their care team via the INRstar dashboard. The clinician issues dosing recommendations using INRstar and the patient then receives their dosing schedule without delay via INRstar Engage. To save duplication of data entry, the treatment information can also be filed back to the GP clinical system.
Set-up for INRstar Engage is so easy that the care team simply has to click the ‘self-care tab’ in INRstar to trigger a seamless process to enrol the patient onto INRstar Engage.
Bernie Cahill, assistant practitioner in cardiology at Affinity Care, found the INRstar Engage solution easy to implement, while the training was also intuitive.
“The INRstar Engage app represents a way for patients to take control of their own care. When I found out how easy it was to use, for both clinicians and patients, I was really keen to roll it out here” she said.
INRstar Engage transforms the way patients and care teams connect by providing step-by-step training, to give patients the knowledge, skills and confidence to self-test while maintaining vital links for support and guidance from their care team.
Following the success of the pilot at Affinity Care, INRstar Engage has now been rolled out across their anticoagulation service, with demonstrable benefits to both patients and clinicians:
- Affinity Care now has 30 patients self-testing with numbers rising each month.
- Self-testing patients using INRstar Engage take half the time to process compared to patients coming into the practice,2 with time savings for both patients and care teams.
- Self-testing with INRstar Engage allows Affinity Care to support the NHS Sustainable Health and Care System3 by reducing the amount of times people attend a clinic. Patients using INRstar Engage attend clinic once a year compared to an average of 12 visits4 a year for other patients.
- When care teams send dosing schedules from INRstar into INRstar Engage and directly to the patient, this reduces the need for print and helps to support the drive towards a paperless NHS.5
- Time in Therapeutic Range (TTR) has remained stable for patients using INRstar Engage (no matter what their clinical indicator for anticoagulation) at an average 77 %.6
Enhanced benefits for patients
INRstar Engage has enabled patients to become more independent and not be tied down to frequent appointments at anticoagulation clinics.
Bill, a patient at Affinity Care travels regularly. Using the app has enabled Bill and his family to go on holiday more often:
“INRstar Engage is absolutely brilliant! It’s been so wonderful for us! At the moment we are doing a lot of travelling, as we have a canal boat and we’re going all over country, which means I can’t have regular INR tests anyway. INRstar Engage has helped create my new lifestyle of freedom – it’s really, really brilliant!”
Bernie explains the many benefits for patients, not least, enhanced patient safety. “There’s no errors using INRstar Engage. When we used to send text messages to patients, there was always room for error – but with this – there is no room for error. INRstar Engage does it all – it’s much better and more safety conscious.”
Dr Matthew Fay, Clinical Chief Executive at Affinity Care says: “As we have seen the clinical community change its view on oral anticoagulation, not only in AF but in VTE, we have seen a dramatic increase in the population requiring treatment. To meet the monitoring needs for this ever-increasing population, we have found INRstar flexing to our patient’s needs, whether this is about the surveillance of their DOACs or allowing them a clinic free experience for their warfarin. The INRstar Engage app allowed those people who could not use DOACs or had a personal preference for warfarin to be freed from clinic attendance but maintain the high quality of control under a governance structure that they should expect.”
1. Patients must have access to an internet connection – check on time zones
2. Patients take 5 minutes to process compared to 10 minutes face to face, providing there are no complications with their INR
4. Based on INRstar location data
6. Overall average 12 month TTR for location