Point-of-care testing allows rapid analysis and short turnaround times. To the best of our knowledge, the present study assesses, for the first time, clinical, operative, and economic outcomes of point-of-care blood gas analysis in a nephrology department.
To evaluate the impact after implementing blood gas analysis in the nephrology department, considering clinical (differences in blood gas analysis results, critical results), operative (turnaround time, elapsed time between consecutive blood gas analysis, preanalytical errors), and economic (total cost per process) outcomes.
A total amount of 3195 venous blood gas analyses from 688 patients of the nephrology department before and after point-of-care blood gas analyzer installation were included. Blood gas analysis results obtained by ABL90 FLEX PLUS were acquired from the laboratory information system. Statistical analyses were performed using SAS 9.3 software.
During the point-of-care testing period, there was an increase in blood glucose levels and a decrease in pCO2, lactate, and sodium as well as fewer critical values (especially glucose and lactate). The turnaround time and the mean elapsed time were shorter. By the beginning of this period, the number of preanalytical errors increased; however, no statistically significant differences were found during year-long monitoring. Although there was an increase in the total number of blood gas analysis requests, the total cost per process decreased.
The implementation of a point-of-care blood gas analysis in a nephrology department has a positive impact on clinical, operative, and economic terms of patient care.