New HORIBA Medical POC analysers helping to keep vulnerable patients safer in Cornwall

26 May 2020

Microsemi CRP

HORIBA’s Microsemi CRP in use in the community in Cornwall

HORIBA UK Ltd, Medical announces that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) in partnership with the Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust have recently purchased and installed five new Microsemi CRP point-of-care (POC) haematology analysers.

The installation of these unique POC analysers (delivering full blood count plus CRP results) across Cornwall is enabling patients to have pathology tests performed locally by clinical staff in acute and community settings, rather than visiting the main Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. This is not only relieving pressure on the main hospital, but also enables patients to be treated in the community, closer to home, where possible; which is advantageous during COVID-19 and paves the way for future pathology provision across the county supporting the improvement of patient pathways.

Originally the installations were planned to improve patient experience and access to pathology testing across the winter, and to aid the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions including flu. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic the Microsemi CRP install was expedited. HORIBA Medical responded rapidly to the Trusts’ order following a successful validation study of its POC analyser with main laboratory haematology samples. A HORIBA team of two then ensured installation and staff training within just two days during ‘lockdown’.

“Our focus on using new POCT such as HORIBA’s Microsemi CRP haematology analysers is supporting the population across Cornwall with a new way of triaging patients to help keep them out of hospital and A&E unless truly necessary,” said Lisa Vipond, Lead BMS Clinical Chemistry & POCT, RCHT, “It is also helping to get many patients home sooner from hospitals where they previously had to wait for main lab results. All these factors are supporting patient safety, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to any infection.” 

Microsemi CRP analysers are now located in Bodmin and Camborne Redruth Community Hospitals, with another planned soon for St Austell. Unnecessary trips to hospital can be prevented as patients are tested close to home, providing GPs and community clinicians with immediate results so they can best manage treatment. This is enabling different patient pathways using community hospitals and minor injuries units for people who still need monitoring and support, but not urgent care. It is also keeping vulnerable patients, such as the elderly, away from risk in the main hospital whilst being reassured by test results that they are receiving appropriate care.

Due to the creation of green and red COVID-19 zones within the Trust, a further two new Microsemi CRP analysers are placed in the Surgical Assessment Lounge at Truro and St Michael’s Hospital, Hayle, to support surgical teams with pre- and post-surgery patient assessments. POCT in these locations is enabling faster turnaround times to results, so streamlining service and enabling patients to be discharged sooner which is helping to maintain social distancing, particularly where space is limited.

Lisa Vipond explained why the Trusts selected HORIBA’s Microsemi CRP analysers to support them in their new POCT set-up which is allowing a more imaginative way of delivering the pathology service in Cornwall to enhance patient pathways. “We were looking for a very specific POCT haematology solution which was easy-to-use by non-laboratory personnel, quick at producing results and with minimal maintenance. The availability of full blood count with CRP in a POC analyser was a real winner as our clinical teams value CRP as a quick indicator on the best patient pathway and what to look for next.”

“Given the situation, we were working on a very tight timescale for installation and HORIBA Medical were great and really responsive to all our many queries and questions. The team who then managed our smooth install during ‘lockdown’ were brilliant and very supportive,” Lisa Vipond added. “I think with HORIBA’s Microsemi CRP helping us to enable local triaging with true POCT, it will really beneficially change patient flow across Cornwall. Also, having these POC analysers now during the COVID-19 pandemic is a real benefit by keeping people safe and not exposing them to unnecessary risk, we can also keep beds available for those who truly need them.”