The analytical quality of point-of-care testing in the 'QAAMS' model for diabetes management in Australian aboriginal medical services

Clin Biochem Rev. 2006 Nov;27(4):185-90.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus and its major complication, renal disease, represent one of the most significant contemporary health problems facing Australia's Indigenous Aboriginal People. The Australian Government-funded Quality Assurance for Aboriginal Medical Services Program (QAAMS) provides a framework by which on-site point-of-care testing (POCT) for haemoglobin A1c (HbA(1c)) and now urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR) can be performed to facilitate better diabetes management in Aboriginal medical services. This paper provides updated evidence for the analytical quality of POCT in the QAAMS Program. The median imprecision for point-of-care (POC) HbA(1c) and urine ACR quality assurance (QA) testing has continually improved over the past six and half years, stabilising at approximately 3% for both analytes and proving analytically sound in Aboriginal hands. For HbA(1c), there was no statistical difference between the imprecision achieved by QAAMS and laboratory users of the Bayer DCA 2000 since the QAAMS program commenced (QAAMS CV 3.6% +/- 0.52, laboratory CV 3.4% +/- 0.42; p = 0.21, paired t-test). The Western Pacific Island of Tonga recently joined the QAAMS HbA(1c) Program indicating that the QAAMS model can also be applied internationally in other settings where the prevalence of diabetes is high.