Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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TECHNICAL NOTE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22

Reducing patient identification errors related to glucose point-of-care testing


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Springfield, MA, USA
2 Department of Pathology, Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Springfield, MA, USA
3 Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Liron Pantanowitz
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.80718

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Background: Patient identification (ID) errors in point-of-care testing (POCT) can cause test results to be transferred to the wrong patient's chart or prevent results from being transmitted and reported. Despite the implementation of patient barcoding and ongoing operator training at our institution, patient ID errors still occur with glucose POCT. The aim of this study was to develop a solution to reduce identification errors with POCT. Materials and Methods: Glucose POCT was performed by approximately 2,400 clinical operators throughout our health system. Patients are identified by scanning in wristband barcodes or by manual data entry using portable glucose meters. Meters are docked to upload data to a database server which then transmits data to any medical record matching the financial number of the test result. With a new model, meters connect to an interface manager where the patient ID (a nine-digit account number) is checked against patient registration data from admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) feeds and only matched results are transferred to the patient's electronic medical record. With the new process, the patient ID is checked prior to testing, and testing is prevented until ID errors are resolved. Results: When averaged over a period of a month, ID errors were reduced to 3 errors/month (0.015%) in comparison with 61.5 errors/month (0.319%) before implementing the new meters. Conclusion: Patient ID errors may occur with glucose POCT despite patient barcoding. The verification of patient identification should ideally take place at the bedside before testing occurs so that the errors can be addressed in real time. The introduction of an ADT feed directly to glucose meters reduced patient ID errors in POCT.


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