Gaining Clinical Pathology Accreditation Compliance via POC Data Management Solutions
10 Oct 2012

In order to work in-line with Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) guidelines, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in London has upgraded its RAPIDComm® Data Management System to version 4.0 to integrate the control of blood gas, urinalysis and diabetes Point of Care (POC) testing to help drive compliance and improve patient care.

The initial focus of the RAPIDComm Data Management System when first released was to provide Point of Care coordinators with real-time oversight of multiple Siemens RAPIDSystems™ blood gas analyzers from a single location. Wide-ranging blood gas capabilities include the ability to remotely access and troubleshoot connected instruments, set alerts, manage operators, generate Quality Control reports, schedule and record maintenance activities and view live screens to take direct control of RAPIDLab® 1200 and RAPIDPoint® 400 and 500 series blood gas analyzers from the laboratory or remote office locations. Siemens has now expanded the functionality of the RAPIDComm system with version 4.0, which also supports CLINITEK Status® Connect urine chemistry analyzers and DCA Vantage® HbA1c diabetes care test instruments.

“Achieving CPA is extremely important for the Royal Free,” says Gillian Hall POCT Manager & Clinical Biochemistry Quality Manager at Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust. “Service users and patients can be confident that our POC testing is safe. What’s more, we can lower our insurance premiums to the NHS Litigation Authority. If we can move to the next NHSLA level by demonstrating CPA compliance, it will equate to significant savings for the Trust.”

Gillian continues, “The RAPIDComm 4.0 solution integrates oversight of blood gas, urinalysis, and diabetes care testing and helps drive compliance in all of these areas. We can generate audit trails, process QC data, record patient results while maintaining patient privacy, and limit instrument access to only trained and certified operators. All of this happens on a common platform that supports different types of point-of-care test equipment. The benefits of integrated connectivity also make it easier to build a case for funding to connect more analysers.”

Point of Care testing compliance at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust is soon to be assessed with a forthcoming inspection for Clinical Pathology Accreditation. Gillian Hall states, “I believe that without RAPIDComm and the support we have had from Siemens, CPA would be extremely difficult to achieve. In the case of a blood gas sample, the RAPIDComm Data Management System provides a full audit trail for CPA purposes. With any given sample, we can easily show which reagent cartridges were used and which operator ran the sample, along with full details of Internal QC results, calibrations, maintenance records, and results of proficiency testing. Excepting maintenance management, we can audit urine chemistry and diabetes care samples in the same way.”

“The installation of RAPIDComm 4.0 is a landmark for both the Royal Free and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. Our data management solution combined with the skills and dedication of the Trust’s Point of Care Team is a big step towards attaining Clinical Pathology Accreditation,” said Hilda Crockett, Business Manager for Point of Care at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. “RAPIDComm 4.0 does more than streamline workflow and reduce expenditure for hospitals, it enables Trusts to improve patient care through the standardisation of procedures while assuring quality. We believe it is highly probable the Trust will gain CPA for a Point of Care service that mirrors the high standards offered by its central laboratory colleagues. For Point of Care this is a bigger challenge due to the number of devices and users of the service.”

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Sonia Nicholas
Clinical Diagnostics Editor