The Leader Hospital is receiving equipment that will help ensure critical diagnostic services for emergency services. Three new pieces of Point of Care Testing equipment is going to allow qualified staff the ability to, "perform a limited but critical range of medical tests, including hemoglobin tests, white blood cell counts, and troponin (cardiac) tests" whenever the typical lab staff is not available to perform.

Introduced as a pilot program, the announcement of new POTC equipment for both Leader and Maple Creek was made Wednesday from the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility in Maple Creek.

thumbnail_20231115_093746.jpg Mr. Doug Steele, Cypress Hills MLA; Kristy McKinnon, Licensed Practical Nurse, SHA (Photo via government release)

On behalf of Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod, MLA for Cypress Hills Doug Steele was in attendance for the announcement. 

"Stabilizing emergency services in our rural communities is a priority for our government," Steele said. "This innovative testing equipment is a valuable tool that will assist health care teams in rural emergency departments to acquire diagnostic information in critical situations and provide safe continuous care to patients."

According to the release, the POCT equipment allows for certain diagnostic tests to be performed in emergency room departments by trained nursing and other qualified staff when regular clinical laboratory services are temporarily unavailable, enabling emergency department services to remain open. 

"This equipment allows health care providers and physicians to make prompt decisions, making it extremely helpful in situations where there is a need for rapid results affecting critical patient care in the emergency room in the temporary absence of lab staff," Saskatchewan Health Authority, Integrated Rural Health, Physician Executive Dr. Johann Roodt said. "This technology has proven to be a very useful tool, and expanding its use to rural emergency departments is an effective and important added measure to stabilize services."

POTC is an excellent way to provide rapid care in disadvantageous situations. These tests can be performed bedside and provide results in under 30 minutes, providing more time for physicians and other professionals to make important care decisions.

Find the full release from the Government of Saskatchewan here.

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