Background: Time is a crucial factor in an emergency department and the effectiveness of diagnosing depends on, among other things, the accessibility of rapid reported laboratory test results; i.e.: a short turnaround time (TAT). Former studies have shown a reduced time to action when point of care technologies (POCT) are used in emergency departments. This study assesses the hypothesis, that using Point of Care Technology in analysing blood samples versus tube transporting blood samples for laboratory analyses results in shorter time from the blood sample is collected to the result is reported in an emergency department.
Methods: The study was designed as a randomised controlled trial with consecutive allocation into two groups and rated 1:1. Blood samples were collected on all included patients and then randomised into either POCT analyses or tube transporting for central laboratory analyses.
Results: Blood samples from a total of 319 patients were included.The mean time from collecting to reporting was 24 minutes for the POCT analysis and 70 minutes for the tube transported analysis. An unpaired Students t-test showed a significant reduction in time from collecting to reporting using POCT (p<.0001).
Conclusion: We found a significantly reduced time from collecting to reporting using Point of Care Technology (POCT) in an emergency department compared to tube transported blood samples for central laboratory analyses.