Investigation of a point of care white cell count test to improve pathways for cancer patients with low white cell counts and possible sepsis whilst receiving chemotherapy in a cancer specialist hospital: a pilot study.
The researchers conducted stakeholder meetings with hospital staff, patients and carers. The meetings identified three potential groups of patients meriting further investigation using the OLO point of care test equipment and two areas of focus:
- Acute admissions for neutropenic sepsis
- White blood cell count verification at pre-chemotherapy checks
Preliminary findings indicated that the OLO System is not the system of choice for this specific clinical application. However, the concept of using point of care to replace current lab-based methods appears acceptable to stakeholders, and has the potential to reduce door-to-result time, improving patient outcomes and service efficiency.
Data indicated a preference for a finger prick blood collection method, a community-based test location, and a health professional operator. The project highlighted the need for a holistic approach when exploring integration of new technologies into routine NHS services, with a focus on addressing challenges around patient and staff education, staff resource, technology operation flaws, and stakeholder acceptability.
The results of this study have broad implications for a large patient population and will hopefully pave the way to future studies to explore point of care testing which will include formally exploring the impact of various point of care testing devices in the management of anti-cancer therapies. It is envisaged that if these prove safe, effective and cost effective that this will result in step changes in how patients are managed during their cancer treatment, within Wales and beyond.