Hemoglobin A1c is a blood test that measures the average blood sugar level over the past three months. Patients with diabetes should have hemoglobin A1c levels tested every three to six months. In Ontario, most patients with diabetes go to community laboratories or hospitals for hemoglobin A1c testing before their doctor appointments.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews Point-of-Care Hemoglobin A1c Tests
Point-of-care hemoglobin A1c testing is done at or near the site where the patient receives care and is an alternative to testing in a laboratory.
Point-of-care testing has several potential advantages: it is close to where the patient receives care; results are available fast, and testing patients in rural or remote communities is easy. Point-of-care hemoglobin A1c tests could be more efficient if its results are as reliable as laboratory test results.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted these recommendations.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS) is operational and as of November 2016, OLIS collects 88% of all lab results generated by hospital, public health and community laboratories. Nearly 100,000 clinical users have access to OLIS data to support patient care.