St. James’s Hospital (SJH) in Dublin occupies a city site long associated with provision of care for those in need, dating back to 1667.
Reliance on Point-of-Care Testing at SJH “has grown exponentially in the last few years,” says Felicity Dempsey, the hospital’s Point-of-Care Coordinator. “The number of devices we are using is increasing all the time, along with the number of operators and the number of tests.”
Approximately 730 physicians and nursing personnel process samples on 10 RAPIDPoint® 500 Blood Gas Systems.
Around 770 nurses use 26 CLINITEK Status® Connect Systems in 17 discrete settings.
RAPIDComm Data Management System —the heart of St. James’s POC Ecosystem
The RAPIDComm® Data Management System is one of the Siemens Healthineers POC Ecosystem™ solutions that empower the centralized management of POCT programs. It is a key enabler for POCT coordinators, helping them to establish a healthy ecosystem through which testing efficiency is maximized, clinical workflow is improved, compliance is ensured, and costs are efficiently managed.
At SJH, Felicity likens the ecosystem the RAPIDComm system enables to “a hub and spoke, where point-of-care quality is the hub and the various RAPIDComm system components feed in. No single aspect of POCT is dealt with in isolation.”
Complying with lab-quality standards for POCT
“Our RAPIDComm system played an invaluable role in this accomplishment."
The ISO 15189 standard details comprehensive requirements for quality and competence particular to medical laboratory testing. SJH is exploiting the full potential of the RAPIDComm Data Management System to help realize and maintain ISO 15189 accreditation of POCT services, and inspections in 2015 and 2016 by the Irish National Accreditation Body (INAB) demonstrated no nonconformity issues.
“We can record [operator] names, ID, level of security, certificate date, and their trainer,” says Felicity. “ISO 15189 requires a witnessed test to be carried out as part of ongoing operator competency and training. I can easily provide evidence of this now.”
Managing the challenge of POCT workflow to improve patient care
“I have to manage POCT workflow on 36 Siemens Healthineers analyzers used by more than 2800 operators,” says Felicity. “St. James’s occupies a large campus, and the analyzers are in place in over 23 locations.
“I can follow progress of a patient sample from handling of the result on the test device through to correct storage on the electronic patient record,” she observes. “I can also remotely review an operator carrying out a test and advise over the phone as to the correct actions to be taken if there is a problem…and importantly, I can easily identify and track down ‘rogue’ operators who are using inappropriate patient IDs or incorrect medical registration numbers.”
Reducing the cost of POCT
“The Workload Report keeps me up to date on the most efficient use of device measurement cartridges. I can save on running costs by matching the size of the measurement cartridge to the workload in each area for most efficient use,” she explains.
Switching from a 400- to a 250-measurement blood gas cartridge has reduced the cost per test in SJH’s respiratory ward by 33%. Changing to a 750-measurement blood gas cartridge in-theater has realized a 5% cost-per-test saving.
With the Material Use Report, Felicity can see if a cartridge has been discarded before its onboard expiry date. Investigation of the analyzer Trace Log and comparison with the Event Log generated by the RAPIDComm system allows her to pinpoint the cause of a failure. “If the cause is anything other than operator error, I can obtain a cartridge refund.”
“The inventory-management capabilities available in RAPIDComm Version 5.0 have helped me more efficiently manage consumables and certainly reduce running costs,” Felicity concludes.
Learn more about the RAPIDComm® Data Management System.
The functionality provided by the Siemens Healthineers RAPIDComm Data Management System has helped St. James’s Hospital establish and maintain an institutionwide POCT ecosystem that supports critical-care testing to the ISO 15189 standard of quality and competence set for medical laboratories.
The RAPIDComm Data Management System assists in the management of the hospital’s entire POCT program by just two staff and is helping SJH to improve patient care through better testing efficiency, improved clinical workflows, reduction of risk, and an overall level of proficiency in testing that adheres to a rigorous standard of excellence.