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Connectivity and data management are vital for point-of-care testing

MLO | July/August 2022 by Steven Valorz, Carol Wise MT(ASCP), Zach Fortuna, MLS, CPP, Karen Carver, MT

As the demand for point-of-care testing (POCT) continues to grow and the testing becomes more complex, it is more important than ever to be able to track and monitor all aspects of a POCT program and get all test results into the patient record in a timely manner. The pandemic made it clear that POCT is crucial and can take place just about anywhere — retail locations, campus parking lots, physician office labs, clinics, and mobile vans. Along with expanding locations, POCT has moved far beyond just glucose and urine dipsticks.

We are now seeing devices that are usually considered ‘main lab’ moving out to these decentralized locations. No matter the location of the testing, the responsibility for the management of the testing, most often, still falls on laboratory personnel. Device connectivity and a robust data manager are imperative for a successful program by providing testing that is safe for patients and helping meet accreditation requirements.

Read more online > | Read from the MLO's digital version >

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AACC Awards

POCC of the Year

Adonica Wilson
Point of Care Coordinator
A. I. duPont Hospital for Children
, Wilmington, DE View past recipients >

Outstanding Contributions to POCT

Ellis Jacobs, Ph.D.,

Principal, EJ Clinical Consulting, LLC Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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Outstanding Abstract

Yang Luo
Reliable Blood Grouping With a Smartphone-Powered Quick Response Microfluidic Card. Primary
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Jeanne Mumford, MT(ASCP) 2022 recipient of the
Point of Care Coordinator of the Year Award

The AACC CPOCT Division annually recognizes excellence demonstrated in POCT by a POC Professional. For 2022, the Division Awards Committee has recognized Jeanne Mumford, MT(ASCP) as the recipient of the Point of Care Coordinator of the Year Award!
Jeanne is a Pathology Manager for POCT for Johns Hopkins Medicine and is the President of the Keystone Point-of-Care Coordinators (KEYPOCC) in Pennsylvania. Her bio will be posted on the Division Awards page soon.

Jeanne will receive her award at the AACC Annual Meeting during CPOCT Division Membership Meeting, Tuesday, July 26th @ 6pm in the Water Tower Room at the Marriott Marquis Chicago.

RALS User Groups Going Back on the Road!

Face-to-face meetings are back! It's been more than 2 years since the last face-to-face RALS User Group (RUG) was held and the time has arrived to go back on the road again with all-new learning sessions! At these sessions, RALS users can meet with their colleagues for networking opportunities - Get to meet and develop relationships with your RALS peers, learn what's new and what's coming in RALS, enjoy full-day, SME led, complimentary sessions by RALS Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). In addtion, up to CEUs -  3.0 Continuing Education Units are available.

For dates and locations, click here >

The Importance of Accurate Glucose Monitoring in Critically ill Patients

Medical Laboratory Observer, March 2022, Dennis Begos, MD

What makes a patient “critically ill”? The term gets used often, but it can be difficult to define.

Certainly, being in an intensive care unit (ICU) should satisfy this, but, paradoxically, not every patient in the ICU is critically ill, and patients outside of the ICU setting have the potential to be considered critically ill. Very sick patients are often not in intensive care units, but throughout the hospital: emergency departments, post-anesthesia care units, operating rooms, and labor and delivery. These patients require specialized, timely, and individualized care to achieve the best outcomes.

To say that only patients residing in the ICU require this stepped-up level of care is to potentially underestimate their disease severity and overlook factors which may adversely affect outcomes. One such factor is glycemic control.

Read more >

Lab of the Year

Medical Laboratory Observer, March 2022

Mary Greeley Medical Center Laboratory

Medical Laboratory Observer (MLO) named Mary Greeley Medical Center Laboratory Lab of the Year (LOY) for 2022. Mary Greeley Medical Center Laboratory excelled in the criteria MLO staff and its editorial advisory board judged the nominees on, which are customer service, productivity, teamwork, education and training, strategic outlook, and lab inspections.

Located in Ames, IA, Mary Greeley Medical Center is a 220-bed regional hospital that serves people in a 13-county area in Central Iowa.

Read more >

Lab of the Year - Runner Up

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Clinical Laboratory

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) is one of the oldest and most distinguished pediatric hospitals in the United States, established in 1883. The academic pediatric acute care hospital has 634 beds.

Cincinnati Children’s clinical laboratories’ customer service efforts strive to improve child health, transform delivery of care, and achieve the best medical outcomes, experience, and value for patients.

Read more >

Validation of Point of Care Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems in Hospital Settings

CLN JanFeb 2022 | Author: Nam K. Tran, PhD, HLCD (ABB), FAACC

Although point-of-care (POC) glucose monitoring has transformed hospital-based glycemic control programs, the use of POC glucose monitoring in critically ill populations has garnered much attention because research shows that some POC glucose meters are unsuitable for the hospital population.

Several investigations have highlighted the role of interfering substances causing inaccurate POC glucose meter measurements. Many of these interferences, such as anemia, presence of oxidizing/reducing substances, and high pO2 levels, are commonly observed in hospitalized populations,

Read more >

Tight and terrible: Lab leaders on budgets and staffing

CAP TODAY, December 2021

The staffing crisis lives on, despite labs having plans of all kinds in place to alleviate the shortage. “It’s the only thing we’re talking about,” Ochsner Health’s Greg Sossaman, MD, said on Nov. 2 when members of the Compass Group met by Zoom. SARS-CoV-2 testing and test supplies and vaccination are “taking a back seat” to staffing, he said. CAP TODAY publisher Bob McGonnagle led the roundtable last month, when COVID-19 positivity rates were up in some areas and down in others. Here is what Dr. Sossaman and other lab leaders had to say. The Compass Group is an organization of not-for-profit IDN system lab leaders who collaborate to identify and share best practices and strategies.

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Saving Your Sanity With POCT Connectivity

November 2021, Clinical Laboratory News, By Kerstin Halverson, BA, MS

Point-of-care testing (POCT) is designed to place devices at or near the bedside and provide results as quickly as possible. However, the distance of these devices from the lab presents a dilemma for getting results into the patient’s chart as quickly as possible. Various connectivity solutions have evolved to deal with this problem.

Some manufacturers’ software enables the result to pass from the device to the lab information system (LIS) and then into the hospital information system (HIS) or electronic medical record (EMR). There are also vendor-neutral middleware solutions that can connect many POC devices, regardless of manufacturer.

Read more >

New hope for lab data interoperability

CAP Today, November 2021, By Anne Paxton

November 2021—Interoperability, a problem of long standing in health care, has a new push and new prospects. Interoperability has become a front-burner issue because it has become increasingly urgent to bring the standardized communication of health care data up to speed. Since the 2009 Affordable Care Act, significant resources have been directed to bringing widespread use of electronic health record systems. But interoperability among those EHRs has been held up by the lack of mechanisms and standards to ensure interoperability of laboratory data, which has drawn special concern during the pandemic.

An initiative led by federal agencies could turn that shortage of standards for laboratory data around. The key is a public/private initiative called SHIELD (Systemic Harmonization and Interoperability Enhancement for Laboratory Data), launched in 2016 by the Food and Drug Administration. Starting early in 2022, the profile of lab data interoperability should rise as SHIELD takes major public steps forward.

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Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Assay Could Aid Hospital Infection Control

October 2021 | Clinical Laboratory News

A new assay might detect SARS-CoV-2 antigens with enough sensitivity and specificity to inform infection control measures and potentially inform novel, point-of-care testing methods, according to a recent Clinical Chemistry paper. Many nucleic acid-based methods are sensitive enough to detect acute COVID-19 infections. However, persistent nucleic acid positivity after symptom resolution and disease recovery complicates infection control measures. This is true especially in immunocompromised patients who show long periods of nucleic acid positivity and have diverse presentations.

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AST and safety at core of microbiology checklist changes

October 2021 | CAP Today | Valerie Neff Newitt

By Jan. 1, 2024, laboratories must use current breakpoints to interpret antimicrobial minimum inhibitory concentration and disk diffusion test results, according to a new requirement in the latest edition of the CAP Accreditation Programs microbiology checklist, released Sept. 22. The same requirement calls for laboratories to implement new breakpoints within three years of the official publication date of the updated breakpoint.

“That is going to be a challenge and real work for a lot of laboratories,” Sheldon Campbell, MD, PhD, a member of the CAP Checklists Committee, says of the new requirement (MIC.11385 Current Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test Interpretation Breakpoints). His advice to laboratories: “Start thinking now about how you are going to accomplish that.”

The new requirement is one of several changes to the 2021 microbiology checklist. Those changes were made for three main reasons, the first having to do with clarity.

Read more >

The Value of Molecular POCT for Managing Infectious Diseases

By Kim Futrell, MT (ASCP), MSHI, Aug 25th, 2021, MLO

Point-of-care testing (POCT) technology continues to advance at a fast pace, making it easier to shrink complex testing platforms into point-of-care (POC) devices. Though not without its challenges, testing at a molecular level far surpasses the accuracy of other POCT methodologies. Molecular POCT devices allow quick, easy-to-use testing in near-patient scenarios where a rapid diagnosis can be the difference between treating one patient and treating a multitude of patients who become infected because the initial diagnosis is delayed.

Molecular testing is a broad term that refers to the detection and/or quantification of specific DNA or RNA sequences in a specimen. Molecular tests are used to detect microorganisms, look for genetic mutations associated with certain diseases and cancers, perform paternity tests, and much more. Highly complex molecular testing is performed in molecular or microbiology specialty laboratories by trained laboratory professionals.

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FDA approves OTC and POC COVID-19 tests

MLO - April 2021 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved amended emergency use authorization (EUA) requests for multiple tests this week, expanding over-the-counter and point-of-care testing options for COVID-19, the agency said in a news release. “The addition of the OTC and POC tests for screening will give schools, workplaces, communities and others several options for serial screening tests that are accurate and reliable,” the FDA said. The authorizations the FDA approved are:

  • Quidel QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 test - authorized for OTC at-home serial screening
  • Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test – authorized for OTC at-home serial screening
  • Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card 2 Home Test – authorized for OTC at-home serial screening with telehealth
  • Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag 2 Card – authorized for POC serial screening without a prescription
  • BD Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 – authorized for POC serial screening with a prescription

Read more >

Coronavirus: Guidance for Better Mental Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a lot of information about the virus and its effects on mental health. That’s because coronavirus and the social, financial and psychological implications it carries can seriously impact one’s mental wellbeing. Government legislation, mass media coverage, and the increasing global death toll will cause a lot of stress, especially for the older population, children, and people with a history of mental health problems.

It’s of the utmost importance that we try to remain as composed as we can during this time. The fear and anxiety that is gripping the nation are as contagious, if not more so than the illness itself. Learn more >

Know the Curves Guide to COVID-19 Testing

Educational guide helps anyone understand COVID-19 testing
Testing is an important tool in the fight against COVID-19. But many people are still confused about the different types of tests that are available. This simple, non-commercial, guide is written in clear language so anyone can understand:

  • The difference between viral RNA, antigen, and antibody testing
  • Why it’s important to get the right test at the right time
  • What a positive result means
  • When people are most contagious
  • And more

Feel free to forward this to patients, friends, family, and anyone else who might be interested. Download the PDF here.

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