Patient Care Alterations After Point-of-Care Laboratory Testing During Critical Care Transport



      Point-of-care laboratory testing (POCT) is associated with a reduced time to testing results and critical decision making within emergency departments. POCT is an essential clinical assessment tool because laboratory data are used to support timely critical decisions regarding acute medical conditions onditions ; however, there is currently limited research to support the use of POCT in the critical care transport environment. Few studies have evaluated the changes in patient care that occur after POCT during critical care transport. This study aims to contribute to the limited data available correlating prehospital POCT and changes in patient care.


      After institutional review board approval, a retrospective review of patients transported by a critical care transport team between October 1, 2013 and September 31, 2015 was completed. During the study period, 11,454 patients were transported, and 632 (5.51%) received POCT testing.


      Patient care changes were noted in 244 (38.6%) patient tests. The most frequent patient care alterations were ventilator settings (10.9%), electrolyte changes (10.4%), and unit bed upgrades (7.1%). POCT most frequently altered care for patients with post–cardiac arrest syndrome (64.7%), sepsis/septic shock (61.8%), diabetic ketoacidosis (54.5%), or pneumonia (49.3%).


      Patient care alterations occurred in 38.6% of patients undergoing POCT. Patient care was most frequently changed when patients were diagnosed with post–arrest, sepsis/septic shock, diabetic ketoacidosis, and pneumonia.


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