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Point of care testing improves patient safety at Birmingham hospitals

Roche Diagnostics (UK) : 14 March, 2012  (Application Story)
The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is capturing point of care results in a single database to ensure accurate, up to date patient records by using Roche IT solutions.
Fully connected point of care (POC) cobas b 221 blood gas analysers and Accu-Chek Inform II blood glucose meters from Roche, together with the powerful data management capabilities of cobas IT 1000, have helped the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to ensure safe and appropriate use of POC testing equipment.  With improved connectivity, easier maintenance and increased uptime of analysers, results are obtained where and when they are needed to enhance patient care.


Upgrading to Accu-Chek Inform II blood glucose meters means that results are now sent directly to patient records, which ensures that they can be accessed by the necessary health professionals immediately.  This is facilitated by cobas IT 1000, which also provides a full audit trail and allows Point of Care Manager, Helen Peat, to identify training and re-training requirements quickly and easily.  The Trust has also taken advantage of the Roche Training Specialist Service, to ensure a consistent, high standard of training, and is in the process of introducing the cobas academy e-learning package, which will allow users to access training modules at a time and location that is convenient to them.


"cobas IT 1000 enables me to identify users that are coming up for recertification or where further training may be required, and allows me to ensure that only fully competent and authorised individuals are using the POC testing equipment," said Peat.  "This helps to ensure patient safety and a high standard of care."


"In addition, the flexibility of cobas IT 1000 allows me to introduce other POC systems, even from different suppliers, and to extend the POC testing that is under my control," Peat added.  "We can bring in other systems in the future and have a single database for them all.  Really, cobas IT 1000 gives me the ability to get everything done.  I’m not spending all my time on the wards checking and maintaining equipment."


The blood gas analysers are intensively used, with some systems running over 100 samples every day, and so it is important for Peat that they perform reliably.  "The connectivity of cobas IT 1000 and the remote monitoring and control features of cobas BGE Link allow me to manage the maintenance of the blood gas analysers remotely.  I can see the status of each analyser in real time and, if there was a problem, I could fix it remotely.  This ensures maximum uptime, which is what the users want."


Previously, the Trust had various different blood gas analysers, which were not password protected.  This required staff to be trained on each of the different systems in case they had to move from one to the other.   "Having the same analyser in every location has greatly simplified training," Peat continued, "and password protection ensures that only fully trained and competent members of staff can use the equipment.  The new equipment also performs automatic quality control testing, which is simpler and easier than manual QC testing, and gives us greater confidence in results."


"Roche has been extremely helpful from the start," Peat concluded.   "We have a close working relationship and they understand our needs and constraints.  This has helped to ensure that the installation of our new equipment went smoothly."
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