Enhanced PoC testing for mothers and babies

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has recently installed seven new cobas b 221 blood gas analysers at Peterborough District Hospital and Peterborough Maternity Unit. These new systems from Roche will enable the hospitals to extend their point of care testing (POCT) capabilities to include rapid electrolytes, metabolites and bilirubin testing, in addition to blood gases.
The extended parameters on the cobas b 221 POC systems have allowed the hospitals to replace a separate bilirubinometer machine on the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), to introduce POC lactate testing in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and to roll out electrolyte testing to more ward based machines.
Prior to selecting the cobas b 221 POC systems, the clinical chemistry department reviewed several different blood gas analysers for their technical ability.  The decision making process included feedback from clinical staff who assessed the operation and functionality.  The cobas b 221 POC systems were selected for their ease-of-use and reliability, as well as the comprehensive training, service and support package that is provided by Roche. 
Head of the Emergency Laboratory and Senior Biomedical Scientist responsible for Point of Care Testing (POCT) at the Trust, David Church, comments: “Because of our long association with Roche on various analytical platforms, we have complete confidence in their service and support.  The comprehensive training of laboratory staff, combined with telephone backup support from Roche, allows us to offer on-line and telephone support for the ward machines.  This helps to minimise engineer call outs and to maximise uptime.”
Each cobas b 221 analyser is in a different location, with one each in the laboratory, the ICU, the accident and emergency department, the SCBU, the delivery suite, the admissions ward and a respiratory ward.  However, despite the distance between the systems, connectivity via the cobas bge link software POC Data Management solution allows the laboratory to keep a close watch on the performance of the analysers.
“We particularly liked the improved cobas bge link software, which allows us to monitor all the ward based machines,” continues David. “We also like the security features on the cobas b 221, which ensure safe and appropriate use of the machines.  We have issued personal bar codes for each trained user, which is coordinated centrally.  Laboratory and ward staff only have access to their respective machines when they have received the relevant training and access is blocked to non-trained staff.”
The advanced technology, multiple system functions and user-friendly interface of the cobas b 221 make it ideal for point of care testing, providing accurate diagnostic data quickly and reliably to the point where it is urgently required. 

For more information information, www.roche-diagnostics.co.uk

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