NYC Health + Hospitals announced the integration of in-clinic technology to provide faster point-of-care hemoglobin A1c testing at various hospitals and health centers throughout New York City. Using an in-clinic machine and a small blood sample, physicians can review a patient’s average blood sugar level for the past two to three months, in as little as five minutes.
“The addition of point-of-care testing systems in NYC Health + Hospitals clinics enables a physician to assess a patient’s average blood sugar level at the time of the patient’s appointment,” said Dr. Dave Chokshi, Chief Population Health Officer of OneCity Health and Senior Assistant Vice President at NYC Health + Hospitals. “This snapshot is especially important for patients who may not have been seen by their doctor recently. It helps physicians make necessary adjustments to a patient’s treatment plan at the time of their appointment.”
A1c testing measures a two-to-three-month period of time, providing an average for the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it. A high A1c level indicates poor blood sugar control, increasing the risk of diabetes complications, including kidney and heart disease, stroke, and eye damage. The use of point-of-care A1c testing is an effective monitoring tool for patients with diabetes, improving care and removing a wait for lab results following an appointment.
“According to our preliminary data, patients receiving care at our sites with in-clinic A1c testing have, on average, better control rates, compared to patients at our other sites,” said Dr. Nichola Davis, Assistant Vice President, Population Health, NYC Health + Hospitals, who noted 66 percent of patients in these sites with in-clinic testing had A1c under control, compared to 62.5 percent of patients in other sites. “These preliminary results make sense. When patients know their diabetes numbers, they can better manage their blood sugar, and their risk of complications decreases.”
Doctors underscore the importance of eliminating delays associated with testing. Traditionally, patients have visited their doctor and had blood taken for testing, but the results took 1-2 days and patients sometimes needed another appointment to have the results discussed and to go over modifications for the plan of care. With in-clinic testing, that hurdle is removed. In addition, the immediacy of testing, results, and feedback—all in a single visit—may help patients better absorb information and understand its importance.
The ten sites currently with in-clinic A1c testing are:
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania
NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
In-clinic A1c testing will be introduced to other sites in the coming months.
NYC Health + Hospitals offers expert diabetes care at all hospitals and neighborhood health centers. In addition to high-quality care, we offer diabetes education classes, one-on-one sessions, and patient support groups. To find more information or schedule an appointment, visit http://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/services/diabetes-care.