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Report: Point-of-Care Products Need EHR Connections

Does This POC Test Talk to My EMR? That’s the question users of glucose monitors and other point-of-care (POC) tests may ask, according to a healthcare market research publisher. As wireless communication becomes standard in hospitals, it is incumbent on the $12.9 billion worldwide market for POC test systems to participate fully in this phenomenon. Connectivity is a high priority issue in order for hospital POC testing and critical care device markets to expand, according to the findings of “Point of Care Diagnostics 2010 and Beyond: Rapid Testing at a Crossroads,” from Kalorama Information.
While the worldwide medical community is racing to embrace EMR and telemedicine, most POC test devices currently have limited connectivity capabilities and cannot participate. At this time, all major lab-based instruments interface automatically to an LIS or HIS system. However, many glucose monitors in hospital wards don’t have this connectivity capability and so they don’t become part of a patient’s EMR. The same applies to almost all pregnancy and urinalysis tests performed in the hospital but outside the laboratory.
Within today’s hospital environment of limited resources, cost pressures, decentralized patient information, staggering investment in new technologies, and increased regulatory scrutiny, healthcare is more challenging than ever before. POC testing is poised to provide a solution to some of these economic pressures. But without first-class connectivity solutions, POC testing cannot provide the expected benefits in improved patient care that will lead to cost reductions.
Beyond the connectivity issue, the next frontier is continuous monitoring of patients in acute care and in selected treatment areas such as dialysis, intensive care, and the OR. Also, as the number of POC tests continues to grow, potential users will not want to learn to use a large number of devices. Therefore, considerable research has been ongoing for about a decade on a multipurpose POC platform that can run chemistries and immunoassays.
Source: Kalorama Information