Home Products Most Popular Contact
No items in your cart.
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.

Learn more about Point of Care Testing: The Applications, Advantages, and Challenges (online CE course) »
How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 106 CE courses, most popular
$95 Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$50 Add to cart
Individual course$20 Add to cart

Quality Assessment (QA) in Point of Care Testing (POCT)

Quality assessment (QA) in the laboratory is a program that monitors all aspects of laboratory testing. The laboratory was assessing the "quality" of its operation before it was required of other departments within the healthcare system. With this historical perspective, it is appropriate for laboratory staff to be involved in the QA program for POCT. Oversight of QA may be hospital-, clinic-, or central laboratory-dependent. Specific oversight is dependent on the structure of the total healthcare facility.
QC is an evaluation of known samples to verify the accuracy of testing by evaluation of samples with known values prior to performing patient testing. Quality control (QC) has been confused with and sometimes described as equivalent to QA. QC is not equivalent to QA, but rather an integral part of the QA program. The QA program for any laboratory testing area is inclusive of all aspects of testing, to include pre-analytic, analytic, and post-analytic phases of testing.
Every POCT program must have a comprehensive QA plan in place with corrective actions for monitors that are found to be unsatisfactory. An appropriate QA program will include periodic monitors of all of the following:
  1. Personnel records, to include verification of qualifications with a diploma or transcript, initial training records for all testing methods performed, and competency assessment at time of hire, 6 months post-hire, 1 year post-hire, and annually thereafter. Records should also include OSHA training and verification of hepatitis B vaccination or declination. Review of these records should be part of the QA plan on an annual basis.
  2. QC records and environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, centrifuge cleaning. These records should be reviewed at least monthly.
  3. Proficiency testing (PT) review and corrective action, if PT is required by test method, state, or accrediting agency. This review should be conducted following the completion of each event.
  4. Tracking of testing performed.
  5. Annual review of policy by appropriate personnel.
  6. Review and determination of completion of corrective action for incident reports and patients affected.
  7. Periodic review of communications between staff members and administration.
  8. Periodic review of sample collection, labeling, and documentation.
Integration of the laboratory staff into the quality assessment plan for the POCT system expands from laboratory operation to the bedside and continues to incorporate the laboratory staff directly into the patient-centered care approach.