The Home Care unit of Oulu piloted Mylab’s mobile laboratory sampling service for two months within Myllyoja district home care services. Home Care Nurses were given mobile phones with Mylab’s mobile laboratory sampling software and mobile label printers.
Users liked the system and it made their work so much easier that they wanted to keep using it. In addition, there were no technical problems and no major usability issues, says Jari Ylönen, Mylab’s Sales Manager.
In Oulu, Mylab’s mobile sampling system was tested in home care – for the first time outside specialist care.
We anticipated that there may be issues with mobile connections when constantly moving between locations but that did not happen, Ylönen says.
The volume of laboratory samples in home care is minor but the tests are very significant for monitoring long-term illnesses. Samples are mainly taken from patients who receive exclusively home care.
We had the chance to pilot indefinite INR test referrals to monitor individuals treated with blood-thinning medication. Unlike in the current system, blood samples were taken with a microINR at the customers’ homes. In the current systems, home care nurses need to return to the care unit to create a test request and to print labels before then returning to the customer to take the samples.
In addition, the home care nurse can use the mobile device to see what laboratory samples have been ordered by specialist care at the University Hospital of Oulu and therefore there is no need to make enquiries over the phone.
The only inconvenience was having to carry the mobile devices around when visiting customers.
This was important feedback. We had never thought about it, because so far we have only operated in a hospital environment where laboratory trolleys are used. Treatment is increasingly often carried out at home, so there is a need for mobile sampling solutions, Ylönen says.
The mobile sampling system cannot be taken into use in Oulu because of platform issues: the mobile version of the home care ERP system used in Oulu is only available on the Windows platform but the mobile sampling application uses Android.
The mobile sampling system was tested in co-operation with OuluHealth Labs, a specialist in development and testing of health care technology. It was a great opportunity for Mylab to pilot the system out in an actual customer environment and the results can be shared with laboratories that are planning to expand their mobile sampling systems.
Mylab’s mobile sampling system was launched in 2014 and it is currently being used by HUSLAB, TYKSLAB, ISLAB and SataDiag laboratory enterprises. They are all planning to expand their systems to include mobile use, for example, in home care and to operate mobile sampling posts with weekly sampling in sparsely populated areas.
Further reading: OuluHealth Labs’ news release on testing of mobile sampling: