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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Point of Care Testing: 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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Laboratory Staff Involvement with Point of Care Testing (POCT)

POCT is a comprehensive, team-based care delivery method that is centrally coordinated to include all the contributors. POCT is one part of an integrated care system that involves a total patient care team in the treatment of the whole patient. Laboratorians have not typically been a part of integrated care and historically have functioned autonomously in the laboratory, which is often geographically removed from the patient care areas of the hospital.
In order for POCT to contribute to the patient-centered healthcare approach desired, the laboratory staff must be instrumental in providing talent and support to the staff members performing testing in locations outside of the central or main laboratory. This support can come in many ways. Supportive roles for POCT include, but are not limited to:
  1. Evaluation and adoption of test kits and POC instruments
  2. Correlation studies
  3. Provision of policy and procedure
  4. Technical support, as appropriate
  5. Training and competency assessment
  6. Periodic review of test and quality control results
  7. Corrective action for failed QC and proficiency testing, as appropriate
  8. Participation in on going quality assessment
A POCC may be a laboratory employee or supervisor or personnel from another department as determined appropriate by the healthcare facility. CLIA/HHS has experiential requirements for some tasks that may be completed by the POCC. Competency assessment is one example of a task that the POCC may complete. Hence, administrative decisions regarding selection of the POCC must take into consideration the CLIA requirements. The POCC must have the flexibility to visit remote locations where testing is performed, as well as clinics that treat patients who may self-test with point of care devices and require support of the clinic treatment personnel who may in turn require support for the testing devices and procedures.