Stockport NHS trust first to achieve new CPA standards

Praise for Stepping Hill's point-of-care testing service

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has become the first site in the UK to achieve the new Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) standards for point-of-care testing (POCT).

Following a two-day assessment, the trust, which uses Roche cobas IT 1000 POCT Data Manager at its hospital in Stepping Hill, has achieved CPA accreditation for blood gas, blood glucose, INR (international normalized ratio) and total haemoglobin testing at the point of care.

The assessment team said of the system: “The term ‘embedded into an organisation’ is too commonly used, but never have I seen it so true as in how POCT is delivered and supported at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.”

POCT co-ordinator at Stepping Hill Hospital, Samantha Ekin, said: “cobas IT 1000 has been vital in moving towards CPA accreditation for POCT. It provides access to important information regarding reagents - such as lot number, when they were first in use and expiry dates - activation dates for connected instruments and all quality control data. It also has an operator database, which includes dates of certification and re-certification and a record of how often an operator has used an instrument, as well as recording all the patient results.

“The functionality of cobas IT 1000 can be configured to the requirements of individual facilities and our system differentiates results generated at the point of care from laboratory results. Each result is linked to the operator who performed the test, the reagent lot number, the serial number of the analyser, the date and time, any alarms noted and/or any comments from the operator. cobas IT 1000 gives us a complete audit trail of the analytical part of the POCT test.”

To help ensure consistent and standardised training of POCT operators, Stepping Hill Hospital is currently in the process of implementing and rolling out cobas academy e-Learning; an online training package from Roche.

Ekin said: “This means that operators can log onto the system at a convenient time using their unique operator ID code. This gives us a full audit trail of who is accessing the training programme and what has been achieved. cobas academy is extremely useful for the re-certification of operators and used alongside the requirement to perform quality control testing, it ensures operators have the required competency and that they receive the necessary updates in their training.”

Accreditation for POCT is not mandatory. However, Ekin said it gives co-ordinators a structured framework to follow, helping to ensure services are robust and quality assured, with quality indicators that are measurable.

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