19 February 2018
The Point of Care Test (POCT) for flu was introduced over the Christmas period at Kingston Hospital and St George’s Hospital and has proved to be incredibly successful.
The device means patients’ flu test results are typically processed and acted upon in just 20 minutes, compared with up to 24 hours when sent to the laboratory.
Currently, all suspected flu patients requiring admission must be isolated in side rooms but evidence suggests only one in five of these patients genuinely has flu. This can cause overcrowding in ED while an appropriate bed is found. The ability to confirm a positive or negative result in less than 20 minutes means patients with flu can be safely isolated and non-flu patients can be transferred quickly and safely to a ward bed, improving flow out of ED.
POCT has also helped with bed management as bay closures have been minimised, which in turn has helped with patient flow.
In addition, the POCT device is also cheaper than the laboratory test so it is cost-effective, efficient, avoids unnecessary isolation and improves overall patient experience.
Members of staff from SWLP were also presented with an award by Kelvin Cheatle, Director of Workforce at Kingston Hospital.