Implementation of Point-of-Care HbA1C instruments into Community Pharmacies: Initial development of a pathway for robust community testing

Andrew Radley (Lead / Corresponding author), Lewis Beer, Danya Rushdi, Hazel Close, Stephen McBurney, Adrian Mackenzie, Anna Gourlay, Anna Barnett, Alison Grant, Neil Greig, Ellie Dow, Calum Sutherland

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Background: Point-of-care (POC) analysers in community settings can provide opportunistic and regular HbA1c monitoring. Community pharmacies in NHS Scotland are utilised by populations at greatest risk of type two diabetes (T2D). This study describes initial development of an HbA1c pathway using a POC analyser in community pharmacies. Methods: The Abbott Afinion analyser was compared in (i) NHS Tayside’s Blood Sciences Service and (ii) community pharmacies from four Scottish Health Boards. A side by side comparison with standard operating procedures for HbA1c quantification using 80 T2D patient venous samples. The machine was implemented into 11 community pharmacies and 144 samples obtained from patients for comparison to their recent laboratory HbA1c. Four focus groups examined themes around the intervention and an exit questionnaire was administered. Results: Laboratory assessment verified the efficacy of the POC test machine. The value for level 1 quality control was 44 mmol/mol and the mean during testing 42.7 mmol/mol. The greatest percent coefficient of variation (cv) was within-run for both levels of quality control material, at a value of 1.63% and 1.62%, respectively. The analyser performed robustly within the pharmacy assessment, with a mean difference of 1.68 and a standard deviation of 0.71 (CV 0.423). Patients with T2D reported positive experiences of using a pharmacy. The focus groups identified an appreciation of the convenience of pharmacies and of the longitudinal relationships with pharmacy staff. Conclusion: POC HbA1c analysers can be successfully established in community pharmacies. The target patient group responded positively to the opportunity to use a pharmacy service.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45632231219380
Number of pages57
JournalAnnals of Clinical Biochemistry
Early online date23 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Nov 2023


  • Community Pharmacy
  • HbA1c testing
  • Point-of-Care
  • Type 2 Diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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