Capillary glucose meter accuracy and sources of error in the ambulatory setting.N Z Med J. 2010 Mar 05; 123(1310):74-85.NZ
Hand-held glucose meters are used throughout the health system by both patients with diabetes and also by health care practitioners. Glucose meter technology is constantly evolving. The current generation of meters and strips are quick to use and require a very small volume of blood. This review aims to describe meters currently available in New Zealand, for use in the ambulatory setting. It also aims to discuss the limits of meter performance and provide technical information that is relevant to the clinician, using locally available data. Commoner causes and consequences of end-user (patient and health professional) error are illustrated using clinical case examples. No meter offers definite advantages over other meters in all clinical situations, rather meters should be chosen because they fit the needs of individual patients and because the provider is able to offer appropriate educational and quality assurance backup to the meter user. A broad understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the subsidised meter systems available in New Zealand will help the health practitioner decide when it is in the best interests of their patients to change or update meter technology.