Nicola is the POCT coordinator at the Royal United Hospitals Bath Foundation Trust and have been for just over 2 years now. She has been a senior biomedical scientist in biochemistry in the manual section again for around 2 years before this and a specialist BMS since 2003. Her most recent education was the certificate in expert practice in POCT awarded by the IBMS in 2021.
She has always had a great passion for POCT, and she enjoys her job despite the many challenges. She believes that POCT is the ultimate integration of the laboratory and patients and never so much in the limelight as it has been during these COVID times.
We interviewed Nicola about her thoughts on the growing significance of the Point of care Testing amidst a Global pandemic. The role of POCT in dealing with Infectious diseases, her presentation at the Conference and her take on the conference program.
Question: What is the significance of Point of Care Testing in the time of global pandemic?
I think for the first time POCT has really been brought to the attention of trusts demonstrating how versatile POCT can be. Never has there been such an overwhelming need to have a rapid result before a patient can be triaged safely. POCT is the perfect solution to aid patient pathways in all circumstances but the pandemic has made this one of the most important ways to test. POCT testing reduces risk of spreading infection if used correctly as samples do not need to leave areas, they are collected in. As we all know PPE and hand washing is of upmost importance to stem the spread of COVID, if a sample does not need to be transported, which could involve several people handling it and possibly several areas in a hospital for instance if a porter is picking up from several wards on their way to the central lab, the risk of spreading is greatly reduced or at least kept within one area if POCT is utilized. Some POCT tests like blood gas analysis has been critical in the monitoring of patient’s ventilation status who are suffering with COVID (a respiratory disease) these cannot practically be provided by the central laboratory due to the instability of the sample and the time it takes to get samples to the lab. Again, POCT proven to be more useful than the central laboratory.
Question: How POCT is helping in diagnosis of Infectious Diseases and how it is significant in current situation.
Some hospitals like us in Bath RUH do not have a microbiology service out of hours so until POCT COVID testing analysers were introduced there was no way of testing any patient coming into the hospital for COVID during the night. For us POCT COVID testing has been critical in-patient pathways.
Question: What are your views on the agenda and how helpful it is to the targeted audience.
The agenda looks really interested with some topics which have not been covered in other meetings and talks recently. I think it is important to highlight to the scientific and healthcare professional’s audience the impact the pandemic has had not only on pathology services but in particular POCT. I am pleased to see connectivity being one of the talks it is a topic often overlooked.
Nicola Hodges is one of the speakers at our 2nd Annual MarketsandMarkets Infectious Disease Diagnostics and Point-Of-Care Testing Virtual Conference being held on March 11th -12th, 2021.
She will be presenting on the Day 1 of the conference on the topic – “Application of Point-Of-Care in disease outbreak.”
To Know more about her presentation, visit our website –https://bit.ly/3gNnkOq
If you wish to learn a great deal from her about the POCT & Infectious diseases field then register online or email [email protected] to book your slot at the conference.