Feature | August 29, 2006| Judy Hostert-Harvey

P.O.C. Technology Enables Fast Analysis for Cardiac Patients

Clinicians say new, compact machines are easy to use at the bedside.

GEM Premier 3000 by Instrumentation Laboratory

GEM Premier 3000 by Instrumentation Laboratory

GEM Premier 3000 by Instrumentation Laboratory

GEM Premier 3000 by Instrumentation Laboratory

Having the most up-to-date blood gas readings is critical when dealing with many patients, especially pulmonary and cardiovascular ones. Equipment that allows a patient's levels to be checked on the spot by the caregiver is seen as an important technological advancement.
The measuring of a patient's oxygenation, electrolytes and metabolites, and glucose levels typically involves sending the sample to the lab for analysis. But in that time between taking the sample and waiting for the results, the patient's levels could change, says Tim Lynch, product manager for Instrumentation Laboratory.
“The benefit of using our product is that the [patient care team] can have results right there in front of the patient and act on them,”  Lynch said, in reference to IL’s GEM Premier 3000 Analyzer, which produces test results in under two minutes instead eight to 10.
The machine was originally designed for the cardiovascular OR and can be used at any time when needed — in emergency rooms, intensive care units and neonatal intensive care units.
The previous machines needed to be operated by licensed lab technicians — respiratory therapists and medical technologists — but the GEM Premier 3000 system is set up to be used by anesthesiologists and others on the patient care team.

Automated Quality Control
Bringing the technology to the point of care provides vital information needed for immediately addressing any changes in the patient's condition, said Alan Beder, manager of Scientific Affairs for RadiometerAmerica.
Radiometer produces the ABL800 Flex series and NPT7 blood gas analyzers. The former tends to be used more in high volume applications and can be found in the lab, while the NPT7 is more often used at the cath labs and point of care (P.O.C.).
Alexandra Martyniak, a technologist in the pediatric cath lab at the University of Chicago, has been using the NPT7 for about 18 months.
“Because it's in the room, it's easy to operate and it provides a quick turnaround time for results,” she said. “It is easy to use and reliable.”
She added that the reliability factor with the internal QC before each sample is a real plus.
One of the most important features of the technology is having automated quality control. Traditionally, QC required a manual running of several control products on a daily basis, performed at the end of every shift, or every eight hours. And those tests required a medical technologist or clinician to run them.
With both the GEM Premier 3000 and Radiometer's ABL800 Flex and NPT7, the technology is such that the QC system is continually monitoring all aspects of the analysis process.  
If there is a problem with the machines, the automated QC system will prevent the machine from performing the analysis. If a machine fails a QC check, it will automatically move to the next cartridge, Beder said.
“Having equipment that prevents a bad result from being reported allows the caregiver to focus on the patient instead of wondering if the test is right,”  he said.
Both the GEM Premier 3000 and the Radiometer series use automatic cartridge-based systems. The cartridges, described by Lynch as the size of a shoe box, can run for two to three weeks.
Lynn Pompa, supervisor of Respiratory Care and Pulmonary Diagnostics at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, is sold on the P.O.C. technology. Using the GEM Premier 3000 eliminates any second-guessing about crucial patient measurements, he says.
Pompa manages a staff of 50 respiratory therapists and said the machine has improved efficiency and accuracy of patient care.
“Crucial treatment decisions are based on these analyzers,” Pompa stated in a release. “Equipment function must be reliable for detecting changes in patient condition, or the repercussions in quality of care can be significant. With GEM Premier 3000, we can count on results being accurate all of the time.”
The automated and consistent quality control system is a real bonus as well, Pompa said.
“With other analyzers, routine maintenance and QC disrupt therapists' normal routines and take away from direct patient care,”  he said. “It's important to remember that QC issues also extend beyond the analytic process itself. By unburdening clinicians from daily system checks, iQM (GEM Premier's QC system) allows them time to focus on pre- and post-analytic issues such as clots, specimen contamination and proper patient identification.”
The reliability of and confidence in the iQM system is “always 100 percent” at the center, Pompa said.
“If you move something to the point of care, you shouldn't have to give up quality of performance. This machine meets the same performance  as a lab machine,” Beder said.
All GEM Premier 3000 machines within a hospital can be integrated onto the same network so the lab can pull up the information online and access the status of all the analyzers in use.
With the P.O.C. systems, the laboratories and caregivers are working together to provide the best patient information, Beder said. It does not reduce the role of  laboratory technicians or pathologists in the patient care process.
“There are options now,” Beder said. “In each case you have to look at what is the most efficient way to get the information needed to provide the best treatment for the patient.”

Related Content

Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Feature | Cybersecurity| August 18, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 17, 2017 — Cybersecurity has become a growing concern in healthcare as patient data, medical systems and impla
ScImage Awarded U.S. Government DIN-PACS IV Contract
News | PACS| August 16, 2017
ScImage Inc. was recently awarded a new DIN-PACS IV (Digital Imaging Network/Picture Archiving and Communications...
News | Information Technology| May 11, 2017
McKesson Imaging & Workflow Solutions, an industry leader in providing healthcare IT and imaging solutions, is...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Enterprise Imaging| March 03, 2017
Enterprise imaging system expert Louis Lannum was in charge of Cleveland Clinic's efforts to connect images and other
Philips, IntelliSpace Enterprise Edition, enterprise imaging, HIMSS17, RSNA 2017
Technology | Enterprise Imaging| February 21, 2017
Philips recently announced the introduction of IntelliSpace Enterprise Edition at the 2017 Healthcare Information and...
Logicalis Healthcare Solutions lists the top cybersecurity issues for CIOs at HIMSS17.
News | Cybersecurity| February 10, 2017
February 10, 2017 — With the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s annual meeting (HIMSS17) schedul
Sectra PACS, Cardiology Module, ProMedica, RSNA 2016
Technology | Cardiac PACS| December 05, 2016
Sectra announced that nonprofit healthcare system ProMedica is adding the Sectra Cardiology Module into its existing...
ScImage, DIN-PACS contract, Department of Defense medical centers, DoD, RSNA 2016
News | Cardiac PACS| November 21, 2016
ScImage Inc. announced it has secured orders for cardiovascular imaging systems (CVIS) at six Department of Defense (...
Sci-image, Scimage, CVIS, CIIMS, Cpacs c-pacs, cardiovascular information system

Today's cardiovascular information systems need to incorporate all facets of the cardiology department, including subspecialties, to allow a complete picture of a patient's record. These data also need to be able to be shared with enterprise data systems, such as the electronic medical record (EMR). This image is from ScImage, illustrating the various aspects that integrate to make up a complete CVIS. 

 

Feature | September 29, 2016 | Val Kapitula, RT(R), PMP, CIIP
Cardiovascular information and imaging systems (CVIS) have existed for many years in the dedicated sub-specialty area
AMA, American Medical Association study, EMRs, electronic medical records, physician burnout
News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR)| September 07, 2016
Technological and administrative obstacles are significantly cutting into available time for physicians to engage with...
Overlay Init