Beyond 3SD: Nursing

and the POCC Interface and POC: Instruments,

People, Parts, Places

and Connectivity

Fall Meeting and Vendor Fair


October 5, 2011

at the

DoubleTree in Alsip, IL


October Meeting Minutes

October 5, 2011


The 2011 Fall meeting with Vendor fair was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Alsip, Illinois on Wednesday, October 5th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.  The meeting was attended by 46 registered healthcare professionals and sponsored by Alere, IL and MAS.  Registered vendors included: Abaxis, Abbott I Stat, Alere, Axis-Shield, BD, Beckman Coulter, Diagnostic Test Group LLC, Fisher HealthCare, Helena, HemoCue, Instrumentation Laboratories, ITC, Laboratory Data Systems, MAS, Masimo, Nova Bio-Medical, Quidel, Radiometer, Roche Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostic NPT Division, Siemens, Telcor and Thermo-Fisher. 


The meeting commenced with opening remarks by Joanne McEldowney, RN and recognition of Kim Skala as POCC of the Year.  Members of the core group include:  Wendy Denk, Ingalls Hospital, Harvey, IL; Joanne McEldowney, RN, Univ of Illinois – Chicago, Chicago, IL; Gil Salas, Univ of Illinois – Chicago, Chicago, IL and Sandra Curran, Univ of Illinois.    


The first session, “Beyond 3SD: Nursing and the POCC Interface”, was presented by Debbi Tiffany MSEd, MLS(ASCP)CM, SCCM, SLSCM – Director of Laboratory Services, Swedish American Health Systems and was sponsored by Alere.   Debbi provided the “Scientists” (that’s us) with views and impressions that the “Caregivers” (those are the Nurses/Associates) have of us and why communications are so important for a successful POC program.  Some observations from the Caregivers include comments like: no one in the lab ever makes eye contact, or they’re always so serious, doesn’t anyone laugh? Or do they ever do anything spontaneous?  And even, lab techs are Nerds. The perception of us is we’re arrogant, ruthless, unrealistic, weird and unappreciative. So, is there a Lab Personality and a Nursing Personality?


The Scientist is driven to create structure and has no patience for inefficiency whereas the Caregiver nurtures and enjoys creating order. The Scientist is calm, analytical, rational, reserved, detached, works alone, efficient, strategist whereas the Caregivers are warm hearted, sympathetic, cooperative, observant of other’s feelings, believe in the “group Hug”, offer security, peaceful living and live in the here and now.  And how can the two communicate? Communication needs to be effective so the ideas need to be clearly articulated and the scientist needs to understand the listening audience so start with the common goal, providing the best possible Patient Care.  If you have trouble understanding the Caregiver, get a “translator” like a Nurse Manager or Educator and avoid stereotyping (Nurses just don’t get it).  Don’t use statements of defensiveness, doubt or disapproval but be consultative and respect the differences between “us” and “them”.  Remember that nurses are not lab people, that they work with people, not machines, and they feel the art of nursing is more important than the science of nursing. The threat of TJC or CAP might bring compliance but we would be better off recognizing and showing the direct effect that POC testing has on patient care.  We don’t like to be told what to do or how to do it, neither do nurses, so be flexible, think about what and how you say or do things and remember that Lab and Nursing working together to provide good patient care will yield improved outcomes.


The Vendor Fair was held from 10am – Noon and once again we thank the vendors for their support and the time they spent with us.


Following lunch, “POC: Instruments, People, Parts, Places and Connectivity was presented by John Ancy, MA, RT, Instrument Laboratory, Senior Clinical Consultant.  John discussed the Key considerations in POC testing: Need, Cost, Specifications, QC, Training and IT considerations.  POC testing has grown and will keep growing as more tests are offered, but sensible selection of test menus will need to balance the “needs” with the “wants”.  Identify the “I want” from the “I need”.  Will the POC test reduce TAT? Reduce LOS? Improve care management? Improve patient convenience/satisfaction/disease management? Improve caregiver/physician satisfaction? You need to consider the environment (ED? OR? Cath Lab?, etc) and will the POCT improve outcome or are there ways to improve TAT from the core lab?  And what skill level of users will be needed?  And how many devices? What about infection control considerations? And should the testing be waived or non-waived? How about cost per test vs. the core lab? Training? Ease of use?


Bottom line, does reduced TAT improve care? The benefits of POC include: reduced TAT, reduced morbidity/mortality (glycemic control protocols, heparin protocols, ventilator/oxygen protocols, resuscitations, sepsis protocols), reduced error from transport and specimen handling, reduced LOS=Reduced costs but POC is generally higher cost/test.  Training/competency/manageability (QC, supplies, connectivity) are critical for reliable results so include these aspects when making the sensible selection.


Sandra Curran led the Roundtable Discussions.

  • New CAP checklist, has anyone been inspected under it?

  • How are you meeting the new competency requirements?

  • How about the disinfection requirements for devices?

  • How are you meeting the PPT competency for physicians?

  • How are you reporting ABG critical results?

There will be no spring meeting, the next meeting with a Vendor Fair will be October 3rd at the Doubletree Hotel in Alsip.  A late spring webinar(s) is under consideration.


Respectfully Submitted,

Wendy Denk, MT(ASCP)

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