In the right patient scenarios, the rapid turnaround time (TAT) that point-of-care testing (POCT) offers can increase provider efficiency and help improve patient outcomes. However, the diversity of locations, operators, devices, and device connectivity capabilities makes POCT challenging to manage and integrate.
Management Challenge #1: POCT Connectivity
To achieve the real-time benefits associated with POCT, not only does the test have to be performed at the point of care, but also the results must be electronically integrated into the patients’ chart and immediately available to the care team. Operational processes must be in place that ensure action is taken based on those results. In addition, when POCT results are not electronically integrated, results must be manually entered, consuming valuable time and introducing the opportunity for error. Integrated POCT results can also improve billing efficiency as tests are billed when results are complete.
Management Challenge #2: Multiple Locations
POCT often takes place in silos within a larger healthcare delivery network and may not be standardized or centrally managed. Because POCT testing sites can be widely scattered across a healthcare campus, it is important to have a robust POCT program that includes a data management system to capture testing information and manage regulatory compliance. Ideally, the POC coordinator can efficiently and effectively monitor their POCT program from a central location.
In reality, few healthcare organizations have been able to successfully integrate their POCT into their EHR. Decentralization of POCT is one of the factors that attributes to the fact that only a small portion of POCT results are electronically integrated. The full value of POCT is only seen when those results are immediately accessible in the patients’ EHR. A data management solution is necessary to capture POCT results from all locations and present those results immediately to the care team.
Management Challenge #3: Multiple Device Types & Capabilities
In addition, large POCT operations have a multitude of POCT devices that must be tracked. QC and calibration verification (when required) must be monitored for each device to assure quality testing and meet regulatory requirements. Having a POCT management system that allows the POC coordinator to remotely track devices, review QC, and document calibration verification can be a lifesaver in a large healthcare organization.
Management Challenge #4: Operator Certifications
POCT operator training and competency assessment tracking can be quite a challenge, especially when there are hundreds of devices and thousands of operators spread across the organization. Tracking a large number of operator training and certification dates can be better managed with assistance from a POCT management system. Regulatory requirements directly associated with POCT are increasingly making it virtually impossible to manually monitor the required training and ongoing certifications for operators within a comprehensive POCT program.
A POCT Data Management Solution to the Rescue
No matter the combination of POCT locations, devices, or operators, it is important to develop a strong POCT management program to ensure quality and timely access to POCT results. POCT management can be complex because of the diversity of devices and operators spread across a large healthcare organization’s network. The challenges inherent to POCT make it imperative that managers have a comprehensive POCT management system and connectivity solution as a tool to organize and track testing data and manage regulatory requirements, such as operator certifications and QC. Having a software solution that enables centralized POCT management (QC, certifications, emails to end users, push down messages to POC devices, etc.) can be extremely beneficial.
Orchard Software’s POCT Management & Connectivity Solution —Orchard® Point-of-Care
At Orchard, we believe POCT is playing an important role as healthcare continues to make changes focused on improving patient care, and we are aware of the many challenges surrounding POCT. We also believe it is important to have POCT results electronically integrated and available in the EHR. To address the challenges inherent to POCT, we offer Orchard Point-of-Care. In addition to providing connectivity, Orchard Point-of-Care can track operator certifications, devices, and QC, and enable rules-based decision support at the POC. Orchard Point-of-Cares’ implementation flexibility offers a variety of ways to meet your POCT management needs. If you would like to learn more about Orchard Point-of-Care, call us at (800) 856-1948, visit us at Orchard Point-of-Care, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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