South West London Pathology (SWLP) and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been shortlisted for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) award. The award is the Driving Efficiency through Technology Award and is in recognition of the work that was done by SWLP, St George’s Hospital, the Technologies Validation Group (Department of Health and Social Care Test and Trace) and LumiraDx in setting up Point of Care (POCT) Covid-19 testing in the Emergency Department (ED) at St George’s Hospital.
At the end of 2020, SWLP worked with St George’s Hospital ED to pilot a new POCT device called the Lumira Dx. The Lumira Dx can issue a Covid result in around 12 minutes from receipt of sample, while current laboratory PCR tests take between 24 and 48 hours. Even rapid laboratory tests take around 90 minutes. As the Lumira Dx is a POCT device, it is located at the point where patient care is being given, in this case the ED, rather than in a laboratory. The devices are operated by clinical staff with support from lab-based staff.
The impact of the new devices on ED, and the rest of the hospital, was immediate and dramatic. All patients being admitted to hospital are now tested for Covid-19 and patients with the virus can be identified much earlier and sent directly to Covid wards, significantly reducing the risk of patients passing on the virus and potentially causing an outbreak. This is particularly important for patients who have the virus but are asymptomatic.
SWLP Point of Care Testing Manager Haval Ozgun says, “The rollout of the Lumira DXs was carried out in record time and involved setting up seven new analysers and training more than 150 staff in using them.
“We are delighted to have been nominated for a HSJ award as it recognises all of the incredibly hard work that was done by colleagues in ED and the POCT team at SWLP to get the devices up and running and maximise their impact on patient care and safety.”