Clinical validation of a novel quality management system for blood gas, electrolytes, metabolites, and CO-Oximetry


Adult Respiratory Care/Pulmonary Function Laboratory, Advocate Aurora Christ Medical Center


BACKGROUND: Quality management of point-of-care (POC) blood gas testing focuses on verifying instrument accuracy and precision, in addition to performing daily quality control (QC) checks every 8 h and with each patient test (unless internal calibration is verified every 30 min). At the POC, a risk-based approach is suitable to address both systemic and transient sample-specific errors that may negatively impact patient care.

METHODS: We evaluated the performance of the GEM® Premier™ 5000 with next generation Intelligent Quality Management 2 (iQM®2) (Instrumentation Laboratory, Bedford, MA), from the analysis of approximately 84,000 patient samples across 4 sites. Continuous iQM2 was compared to intermittent liquid QC, either manual or automated, at 2 sites. Analysis of error flags for patient samples and statistical characteristics of QC processes, including method sigma and average detection time (ADT) for an error, were examined.

RESULTS: ADT was approximately 2 min with iQM2 and varied from hours to days with intermittent QC. iQM2 Process Control Solutions (PCS) precision was similar or better (>6 sigma for all analytes) than manual (sigma 3.0 for pO2) or automated internal QC (sigma 1.3 for tHb and sigma 3.3 for pO2). In addition, iQM2 detected errors in ∼1.4% of samples, providing an additional safeguard against reporting erroneous results.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings in this study demonstrate excellent performance of the GEM Premier 5000 with iQM2 including >6 sigma precision for all analytes and faster error detection times. These benefits address risk in different phases of testing that are not easily detected by intermittent performance of liquid QC (manual or automated).

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