POCT lab in COVID-19 care centre Ahoy

After the outbreak of COVID-19, the command was issued in the Rotterdam region to set up a COVID-19 Care Centre in Ahoy. The general practitioners of IZER care group have asked Star-shl to set up a POCT lab for them. Five days later, we delivered a fully automated POCT lab and the first nurses and care staff were instructed and trained.

The COVID-19 Care Centre Ahoy was initially set up to receive 82 COVID-19 patients who did not require hospital admission, but who were too ill or too frail to remain at home any longer. GPs would refer patients to this care centre and would remain responsible for emergency care 24/7, together with nurses and other care professionals.

The POCT lab consisted of Afinion (Abbott) for CRP, Accuchek Inform II (Roche) for glucose, StatSensor (Nova Biomedical) for creatinine, Hemocue (Radiometer) for haemoglobin and Clinitek (Siemens) for automated urine analysis. We added D-dimer POCT with Cobas H232 (Roche) when it became clear that there was an increased risk of thrombosis in COVID-19 patients. With the help of our established IT systems, all possible test results were also immediately available for Star-shl. Our POCT team was ready to continuously monitor all quality aspects.

The GPs also wished to have a Coaguchek POCT (Roche) installed for INR determination, but in consultation with our Anticoagulation Clinic, we decided to offer this as an on-call service (preferably bundled), in addition to any regular visits if there were sufficient patients.

The rest is history

The COVID-19 Care Centre ultimately never opened its doors and has been dismantled.

Nevertheless, we have passed a great test. Even before the start of the POCT pilots in general practice, we had Star-shl’s very first, comprehensive, automatic POCT lab up and running in Ahoy within 5 days, operating fully in accordance with the highest POCT quality standards.

“Star-shl has managed to set up a completely new mobile laboratory in record time. In this way, we are able to test patients better and faster than ever before. In addition, we minimise risks of infection by testing as close to the patient as possible. It is amazing to see that we managed to install this in such a pleasant collaboration. It immediately makes me think of how to incorporate this in routine general practice.” Maarten Timmers, Coordinating General Practitioner and Chief Medical Information Officer of IZER