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Is hospital’s point of care working?

I read with interest the Oct.23rd article in the Times titled ” A Lab In the Hand”. This article talks about the lingering concerns of point of care hand held blood testing devices at the hospital.

About four years ago when Quinte Health Care was considering implementing point of care at Picton hospital, I wrote an article to the local media expressing my concerns about the loss of a very viable lab and the staff cuts that went with it. Obviously I asked one too many questions about Point Of Care. I was told that the QHC Lab Manager (no longer at QHC) had instructed the technologists that they could only speak to me  on their “breaks” when I was working at our local hospital as a volunteer. Keep in mind that these technologists were all friends and I had worked with them for 20 years. This act certainly encouraged me to continue to write even more articles about the ongoing decimation of services at PECMH.

The Times article discusses the pros and cons of point of care testing. QHC chief-of-staff Dr. Dick Zoutman states that ” point of care testing is highly accurate”. He also goes on to say that “Nurses are very happy because from their point of view they are providing total care.”

I think that “very happy” is a bit of a stretch. This is yet one more task added to their very busy workload Those familiar with hospital lab procedures, processes and  quality assurance worry the entire chain of POC testing lacks the checks and balances of traditional testing.

I and many QHC stakeholders  know very little about point of care. For that reason it would seem appropriate to have QHC conduct a survey of physicians and nurses at Bancroft,Trenton and PECMH and release the results to their stakeholders through the media. Only then we the stakeholders would know how well point of care is working.  Only then we can judge, are we getting the best possible care close to home as possible?

Fran Renoy, Picton

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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