Diabetes Patients Receive Improved Care at the Royal Free

25 Jan 2013
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The networking and data management capabilities of Roche Accu-Chek® Inform II blood glucose meters connected to cobas® IT 1000 have allowed the Point of Care Testing (POCT) and diabetes teams at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust to innovate their approach to governance and patient management. With over 100 meters installed throughout the Royal Free Hospital, the fully connected Roche blood glucose solution has helped the trust to address many QIPP challenges and improve diabetes care.

“We wanted to be able to capture data and have a full audit trail for each patient’s tests and results, ” comments trust POCT Coordinator, Gill Hall. “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. When we looked for a software and hardware solution that would best meet our needs, the Roche Accu-Chek Inform II blood glucose meters, connected to the Roche cobas® IT 1000 data management solution, was the combination that came out on top for us.”

“The ability to capture and manage data electronically is an enormous benefit when it comes to quality and governance,” Gill continues. “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 QC 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 Roche solution certainly helps us to follow the ethos of QIPP,” she adds, “in terms of the quality of data and auditing capabilities that we now have access to; the use of an innovative IT solution to improve the way we work; improving productivity by reducing our reliance on paper records; and by allowing the diabetes specialist nurse team to be proactive in the management of patients and to better identify those that need intervention.”

“The ability to view and handle blood glucose data from across the hospital using cobas IT 1000 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,” says lead nurse for diabetes, Ruth Miller. “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” she explains. “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.”

“cobas IT 1000 provides a vast amount of information and there are many possibilities for data analysis and reporting,” Ruth concludes. “We can monitor and report trends throughout the hospital, for example the incidence of hypo- and hyperglycaemia in individual wards. These are discussed at monthly team meetings and allow us to investigate when patterns emerge, which will help to improve patient care. cobas IT 1000 has become a key resource for targeting diabetes specialist nurse intervention and is now completely embedded in our daily routine.”

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