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Research Article Open Access
Background: Point of Care (POC) capillary blood glucose measurement in diabetes patients in the primary care setting has been used in out-patient settings for many years; however, there were no published studies on the clinical impact of this practice. Aim: To evaluate the clinical impact of Point of Care (POC) capillary blood glucose measurement in diabetes patients and to evaluate the risk factors in patients with abnormal POC capillary blood glucose readings. Method: A retrospective review study was conducted in two public primary care clinics in Hong Kong. 784 diabetic patients were included in the study after randomisation. The POC capillary blood glucose readings during follow up would be documented and analysed. Factors that might be associated with abnormal POC capillary blood glucose readings were evaluated. Results: Among the 2573 consultations, 1.6% was found to have hypoglycaemia readings (capillary blood glucose level<4 mmol/L) while clinically significant hyperglycaemia (capillary blood glucose level ≥ 14 mmol/L) was detected in 4.5% consultations. Further analysis of the results identified male patients, patients on more number of oral anti-diabetics drugs, patients on insulin, patients without practice of self-monitoring of blood glucose and patients with suboptimal latest HbA1c were more likely to have abnormal POC capillary blood glucose readings. Conclusions: POC capillary blood glucose levels might provide additional clinical information about the current diabetic control. However, if resources were limited, it could be selectively performed in patients with the risk factors for abnormal POC capillary blood glucose readings.
Primary health care, Hong Kong, Diabetes mellitus, Point-of-care systems, Blood glucose, Risk factors, Diabetes clinical trials, Diabetic neuropathy