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Perspectives On Blood-Based Point-Of-Care Diagnostics

Authors Quig K, Wheatley EG, O’Hara M

Received 19 July 2019

Accepted for publication 2 November 2019

Published 14 November 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 291—296


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape

Karalee Quig,1 Elizabeth G Wheatley,2 Matthew O’Hara2

1POC Testing Consultant, Aurora, CO, USA; 2Boston Strategic Partners, Inc., Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence: Matthew O’Hara
Boston Strategic Partners, Inc., 4 Wellington Street Suite 3, Boston, MA 02118, USA
Tel +1 617-901-1654

Background: Point of Care (POC) diagnostics are an essential component of modern medicine and are employed in a variety of clinical disciplines to improve patient outcomes and provider efficiency. Despite these benefits, there are aspects of POC testing which may still hold room for improvement. In the present study, a group of healthcare professionals familiar with different facets of blood-based POC testing provided their perspectives on the benefits and challenges of POC testing within their respective fields.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted from April to June 2019, in Colorado, United States of America. Five healthcare professionals, each working in a distinct field (anesthesiology, nursing, emergency medicine, trauma surgery, and POC management) were interviewed. Results from each of the interviews were transcribed as qualitative perspectives on POC diagnostics.
Discussion: The general consensus among participants in this study is that POC testing is tremendously beneficial, providing rapid test results, increased access to diagnostics, and improvements in hospital efficiency. However, significant challenges remain in blood-based POC diagnostics, particularly in maintaining sample quality, due to the fact that devices used for sample acquisition and handling are not designed for POC. This raises the possibility for interferents like hemolysis to occur, which may alter diagnostic results. Errors in POC diagnostics, whether due to sample, operator, or instrument error, may cause providers to lose confidence in the test. This lack of confidence can lead to duplicate testing and delayed patient diagnoses.
Conclusion: The perspectives presented in this study suggest there is a significant need for improvement in the pre-analytical phase of POC testing, and that current practice employs specimen collection technology not designed for POC. Therefore, one hypothesis is that the introduction of a collection device designed specifically for POC could reduce pre-analytical errors, standardize sample quality, improve efficiency, and further benefit patient care.

Keywords: patient diagnostics, point-of-care, blood, hemolysis, pre-analytical phase, emergency medicine, trauma

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