Complex Made Simple

HMC introduces new easy-to-use glucose monitoring system

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is nearing completion of a comprehensive implementation program for a new advanced point-of-care testing (POCT) – a blood glucose monitoring system – that aids in examining the effectiveness of diabetes controls.

The new testing program, the Nova StatStrip Glucose Meter System, offers patients improved testing accuracy, better treatment and a faster testing process. The device also offers complete connectivity with full data transfer of results and patient information to/from the electronic patient record system. The implementation of the new program, which began in March, will be complete by the end of 2014 and will include the distribution of over 600 devices; in turn, enhancing diabetic patient care and safety.

Blood glucose measurements are used in the management of many patients, including patients requiring insulin therapy, and in the assessment of blood glucose levels in newborn babies. Blood glucose monitoring systems, also called blood glucose meters, are handheld devices that measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood by analyzing a small drop of blood placed on a test strip. Implementation of the new meters, which are specifically designed for use by healthcare professionals in the clinical setting, involved over 345 nurse trainers and a system-wide training program. The nurse operators completed a practical competency training course and an exam prior to being certified to use the meters.

The Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Dr. Ajayeb Al-Nabet, said: “The bespoke program, which included the training of over 7,200 nurses and other operators, was comprehensive and encompassed a multi-disciplinary approach. The success of the POCT program has been highly dependent on the effectiveness of the training of non-laboratory staff, mainly nurses. Training acquired through the many ‘train-the-trainer’ programs we offered allowed the trainers to acquire additional teaching, education and communication skills,.”

By offering complete connectivity and data transmission to the hospital’s electronic patient record system the devices will provide physicians with immediate access to medication and drug data, in turn facilitating safer patient care.

Dr. Mahmoud Zirie, Senior Consultant Head of the Diabetes/Endocrine Division at Hamad General Hospital, noted during the recent World Diabetes Day celebrations at HMC that the new devices will transmit blood sugar readings directly to a physician’s office or clinic; positioning HMC to offer the finest diabetic care and patient diagnosis in the region. In addition to having the capability of measuring a patient’s blood sugar level (their glycated haemoglobin or HbA1C) in the period of only a few minutes, the device is improving the overall treatment plan and patients’ overall satisfaction with the care they receive.

“The new meters provide overall improved patient care by delivering faster, more accurate results using less blood and causing less discomfort to the patients,” said Dr. Zirie.

Ms. Maria Vieira, a Nurse Educator based at HMC’s Al Khor Hospital, noted that the meters allow HMC to deliver on its vision of the safest, most effective and most compassionate care.

“The new meters allow nurses more time with patients, and less time with documentation due to the connectivity capability. Another important feature is the ability to add patient comments directly into the medical records system via the meter; all of which improves patient care,” said Ms. Vieira.