Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) is decentralized laboratory testing performed outside the physical constraints of the laboratory in close proximity to the patient.
POCT is increasingly seen as a testing modality with performance expectations similar to traditional laboratory testing and requiring the same high standards.
POCT should be considered as a part of the continuum of the clinical laboratory’s contribution to healthcare and a fundamental responsibility of laboratory services. As healthcare reform changes the perspective from fee-for-service to the optimization of overall patient care, POCT can be a critical factor in streamlining and improving laboratory services.
Examples of POCT testing include:
Urine Pregnancy Testing
Occult Blood Testing
Whole Blood INR (international normalized ratio)
Blood Gas Testing
Many of these tests can be performed on devices that communicate with a data-management system, so results can be sent directly to the patient’s electronic medical record, eliminating paper and ensuring regulatory compliance.