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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Point-of-Care Testing (POCT): The Applications, Advantages, and Challenges. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Disadvantages of POCT -- Administrative

POCT also has disadvantages that impact multiple aspects of the process and outcomes. Some disadvantages of POCT include:
  • Management of the testing: Testing may be performed at multiple sites by a large number of personnel. Transport of equipment and test kits also add to the challenge of managing the POCT process.
  • Number of testing personnel: POCT frequently encompasses many operators with a variety of job titles and responsibilities.
  • Testing personnel locations: Administrative oversight is challenged by the lack of a central testing location.
  • Cost per test: Individual cost per test may be higher than tests performed on a large platform in the central laboratory. Conversely, the overall cost of patient care may be lower when POCT is employed as it allows patients to be treated or processed more quickly through the healthcare system, reducing the cost of patient care.
  • Documentation: Appropriate documentation may be challenging due to testing and personnel location, administrative oversight of personnel, and storage of records. Data requiring documentation and records for retention include:
    • Test orders
    • Test results (including normal range values and units)
    • Operator identification (ID)
    • External and internal quality control (QC) results
    • Proficiency testing
  • Electronic interfacing: POCT instruments may not be interfaceable or may require specific docking stations or middleware, both of which add to the cost of the testing and the level of management required by the primary location. This challenge is presented by both the laboratory information system (LIS) and the electronic health record (EHR).
  • Monitoring and appropriate storage of supplies and reagents: Storage of POCT reagents and QC materials may be difficult to standardize and monitor in decentralized and remote locations.
  • Errors: Error management can be difficult to track and monitor with the existence of decentralized testing and diminished direct oversight. Error significance varies with testing location.