Point-of-care testing (POCT) is carried out outside a laboratory on devices that are easy to use, but which nevertheless require good management of use in order to ensure the quality of the results obtained.
The technical and operational data sheet is a standard operating procedure template to be completed for each case of POCT within the organization. This sheet summarizes the information on POCT and facilitates the establishment and maintenance of instructions for use and control, which has an impact on the care provided to the patient. This document is a new tool designed by the Quebec University Hospital Quality Team to facilitate the implementation of POCT use and control procedures in order to bring them up to standard and, above all, to ensure the safe delivery of care related to the use of non-laboratory testing equipment.
The exercise of drafting this document encourages the various stakeholders to work together, focus their thoughts and organize the use of POCT. Subsequently, the implementation of this data sheet within the care unit makes it possible to make the user aware of the complexity of the process surrounding high-quality biomedical testing and the need to offer safe and effective POCT.
Comparing audits of the compliance of high priority criteria before and after the implementation of the technical and operational data sheets demonstrates that the data sheets contribute to compliance. In 2013, before implementation, the compliance rate was 54% and in 2014, after implementation, it was 97%. Surveys, meanwhile, demonstrate that the perception of the technical and operational data sheets by super-users and POCT managers is generally favourable or very favourable as regards the information they contain and their accessibility, the control methods that they describe and the impact on users and the quality of the results achieved.
The involvement of the care units in the process of setting up the control and implementation of the technical and operational data sheets made it possible to make them view POCT control as a necessity for the good of the patient and not only for compliance with standards. Thanks to this common vision among the various stakeholders involved in each POCT, a climate of collaboration has been established, which greatly facilitates the dissemination and implementation of the control measures throughout care units, upward and downward communication and ongoing changes related to continuous improvement.
By complying with the procedures set out in the technical and operational data sheet, the organization ensures the competence of its staff, compliance with the standard, compliance with good working practices and the quality of the results issued.
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