Point-of-care testing (POCT) for influenza viruses is being used increasingly in NHS hospitals. In the 2017/18 influenza season, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde implemented the Cepheid GeneXpert System for the detection of influenza A, B and respiratory syncytial virus in 7 wards across 5 hospital sites. To evaluate the impact of influenza POCT in Glasgow Royal Infirmary during the 2017/18 influenza season, we retrospectively compared data from 150 influenza A infected patients. We analysed data from 100 patients who were diagnosed using a laboratory based in-house respiratory PCR assay (50 patients from 2016/17 and 50 patients from the 2017/18 season) and 50 patients who were diagnosed using POCT in the 2017/18 season. The aim of the study was to investigate whether POCT impacted patient management and outcome. General linear models were used to test for an association between POCT and a number of outcomes, whilst accounting for host factors. These outcomes included: (1) time from review to influenza result (2) admission status (3) length of hospital stay (4) patient outcome (5) duration of antibiotics (6) antiviral treatment (7) patient isolation and (8) the number of duplicate influenza tests performed. In addition to investigating the impact of POCT, we used this opportunity to explore additional factors that may affect the outcomes of patients infected with influenza A, including: age, sex, imaging results and underlying risk factors.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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