It has been quite a busy first half of the year for Point-of-Care Testing. After a long period of evaluation and planning for the arrival of the new glucose meters, we implemented the first meters this past March in the Pediatrics Department.
Point-of-Care Testing began the process of looking at new glucose meters in 2004, and after evaluating a couple of different ones, we decided to purchase the Nova Biomedical StatStrip® meters. Our previous glucose monitoring system had been in place for over 10 years!
The Nova glucose meter has many features that made it the best choice, such as eliminating interferences due to hematocrit, maltose, galactose, and acetaminophen. This improves patient safety and allows operators to test patients even if they are taking some of the contraindicated medicines for testing by the previous technology. Having a sample size of 1.2 microliters makes it ideal for pediatric units and patients who are harder to obtain samples from. Operators love the fact that it only takes six seconds to get a result.
Together with these new meters, we also implemented a new data management system, AegisPOC, which allows us to more effectively manage glucose results, operator changes and updates, and quality control results, all of which are important components of a successful quality assurance program. All the data in the meter is transmitted through the wireless network to our main server. This is done via the tote pictured below. Although it has been a challenge, we have closely worked with our IT groups to make this all work and look “easy” to the end-user.
Training has been quite an undertaking. We have been fortunate to work with Nursing leadership, including educators, managers and super-users, to accomplish the training of 3,000 operators! As of today, we have about 250 meters out in the units and we just keep growing.
All of this makes us a very busy office lately, but we are excited to see all the new changes taking place, improved technology and a safer patient testing environment.
Leandra Soto, MT(ASCP)
Point-of-Care Testing Coordinator
Department of Pathology