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Point of Care Testing: The Applications, Advantages, and Challenges (Online CE Course)

(based on 239 customer ratings)

Sheryl A. Whitlock, MA.Ed, MT(ASCP)BB
Reviewer: Cynthia Clawson, BSMT (ASCP), MBA, HCA

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1 hour(s)
Course number 578-081-16, approved through 10/31/2018
Course number 20-553069, approved through 9/1/2018


  • Define point of care (POC) as it relates to test methods in the laboratory.
  • Outline personnel and competency requirements for performing point of care testing (POCT).
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of POCT.
  • Differentiate and explain test methods applicable to POCT.
  • Explain the laboratory's role in POCT.

Customer Ratings

(based on 239 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Definition of Point of Care Testing
      • Defining Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • There are multiple contexts used to define POCT. Match each statement to the context/aspect of POCT it describes.
      • Crossing Boundaries in Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • The small, portable testing methods used in POCT can not be used to perform testing in the central laboratory.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Point of Care Testing
      • Advantages of Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • Hospital ABC has multiple locations for laboratory testing of a basic metabolic panel (BMP). The intensive care unit (ICU) has a portable measuring de...
      • Disadvantages of Point of Care Testing (POCT) -- Administrative
      • Disadvantages of Point of Care Testing (POCT) -- Testing Process
      • New POCT has been implemented in the ICU. The clinical staff meeting discussed the disadvantages to the current POCT. Which of the following points co...
  • Testing Methodologies for Point of Care Testing
      • Summary of Point of Care Testing (POCT) Methods
      • Following the introduction of POC instrumentation in the 1980's, POCT methods have increased in availability in an effort to improve patient care and ...
      • Complexity of Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • All POCT methods are classified as waived by CLIA.
      • Point of Care Test (POCT) Methods
      • Match the following test methods with appropriate operational principle.
      • The point of care coordinator (POCC) is organizing a procedure manual for a satellite location. She must rewrite the package insert into a PDF format ...
  • The Laboratory's Role in Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • Laboratory Staff Involvement with Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • Testing staff working in point of care locations in satellite clinics should have no direct communication with the staff in the main/central laborator...
      • Quality Assessment (QA) in Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • Quality assessment (QA) and quality control (QC) are equivalent.
      • Competency Assessment in Point of Care Testing (POCT)
      • When assessing the competency of POCT personnel that perform activated clotting time (ACT) testing, which assessment tool is appropriate to use when d...
      • The laboratory supervisor is assisting with competency assessment of the ICU staff who perform testing on the point of care instrumentation. Before be...
      • An employee completed initial training and competency assessment for moderately complex point of care testing (POCT) in the emergency department on Ja...
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Basic

Intended Audience: Medical laboratory scientists, medical technologists, and technicians. This course is also appropriate for medical laboratory science students and pathology residents.

Author information: Sheryl A. Whitlock, MA.Ed, MT(ASCP)BB is the owner of ARK Laboratory Consulting, LLC and a part time technical consultant for McKesson. Sheryl served as the laboratory coordinator for the Student Health Services Laboratory at the University of Delaware for 15 years. Sheryl received her Master’s degree in Education from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. She has more than 35 years of experience in laboratory science to include management, education, and hands-on bench experience. She has written and published textbooks and laboratory manuals as well as having contributed to numerous online and print articles in the field of laboratory medicine.

Reviewer information: Cynthia Clawson, BSMT(ASCP), MBA, HCA received her Masters degree from Wilmington College, in Wilmington Delaware and a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Salisbury State University in Salisbury, Maryland. She began her career as a bench technologist at then Kent and Queen Anne’s Hospital in Chestertown, Maryland. Currently, she is a Clinical Specialist for Point of Care testing, Quality Assurance, and Regulatory Compliance at the same facility, now called University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at Chestertown.

Course description: Point of care testing (POCT) has been integrated into the healthcare system, creating a paradigm shift and offering faster results using portable, easy-to-use devices that can lead to improved patient outcomes. This course is intended to review the fundamentals of POCT, the advantages and disadvantages, and the applicable testing methodologies. In addition, the laboratory's role in POCT will be outlined to include the personnel, quality, and competency requirements for performing POCT.

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Case with supplies closed


Hemochron plugged in and turned on

Insti HIV reactive test w arrows

OSOM negative patient test


Urine dipstick_shutterstock