POC blood glucose monitoring improves diabetes care at Royal Free

Roche Accu-Chek Inform II blood glucose meters and cobas IT 1000 provide full audit trail

Gill Hall and Ruth Miller with the Roche Accu-Chek Inform II blood glucose meters which have been rolled out at the Royal Free Hospital

More than 100 point of care blood glucose meters are being used to improve governance and patient management at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

The Roche Accu-Chek Inform II blood glucose meters are connected to the cobas IT 1000 solution, capturing all data and providing a full audit trail to enhance diabetes care.

Gill Hall, point of care testing (POCT) co-ordinator at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our previous blood glucose meters were not networked so data had to be captured and collated manually, which was time consuming and left room for error.

“The ability to capture and manage data electronically is an enormous benefit when it comes to quality and governance. Accreditation bodies, such as Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA), the Care Quality Commission and the NHS Litigation Authority, all require accurate records surrounding the use of POCT equipment and operators. cobas IT 1000 allows us to access information from all connected devices immediately on screen. We can monitor internal quality control data and review operator performance much better than before, which helps us to identify any issues immediately and target additional training, if required. This is extremely important - ensuring appropriate use of equipment across the hospital is key to the safety of our patients.”

The system is also enhancing patient care. Lead nurse for diabetes, Ruth Miller, said: “The ability to view and handle blood glucose data from across the hospital has been of great value to the diabetes specialist nurse team.

“Previously, we would have to look at patient notes or rely on referrals to identify patients that require intervention, but now cobas IT 1000 gives us oversight of the entire hospital. It informs our ward rounds and helps us to make informed patient management decisions. We can see if a patient anywhere in the hospital has had more than one hypo- or hyperglycaemic reading and we can target intervention immediately for an improved patient outcome that may reduce their hospital stay.

“Every day, the system highlights around three or four patients that have had two or more blood glucose readings of less than 3.5 or one reading of less than 2.5, and have not been referred to us. Without cobas IT 1000 we would not have known about these patients until we looked at their notes on ward rounds. Hypoglycaemia is associated with adverse outcomes and so it is extremely important that we provide specialist intervention at the earliest opportunity.”

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