Point of Care Testing (POCT) is defined as medical diagnostic testing performed outside the clinical laboratory in close proximity to where the patient is receiving care. POCT is typically performed by nursing personnel and the results are used for clinical decision making. POCT has a range of complexity and procedures may vary from manual methodologies to "hand held" medical devices. POCT is generally more expensive than in lab testing, but is appropriate and cost effective in some clinical settings as testing is performed near the patient and allows for immediate decisions to be made in the clinical management of the patient.
Point of Care Testing Program:
The Health PEI Point of Care Testing (POCT) Program will ensure processes and procedures are in place to meet Accreditation Canada Standards in a cost effective manner and is clinically warranted. The POCT Program helps to promote best practice in Point of Care Testing:
- Ensuring that POCT conducted in Health PEI facilities meets Accreditation Canada standards by having the right supports in place for POCT; making sure people are competent; complying with good laboratory practices; delivering safe and effective POCT; and monitoring quality and achieving positive outcomes.
- Ensuring the quality of Point of Care Testing across Health PEI.
- Ensuring the medical need and rationale for POCT have been evaluated; analysis of service required; alternatives evaluated; and cost benefit has been performed.
- Ensuring the responsibilities and accountabilities for POCT are documented.
- Ensuring methods are validated using documented policies, processes, and procedures.