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The state of point-of-care testing: a European perspective.

Larsson A, Greig-Pylypczuk R, Huisman A - Ups. J. Med. Sci. (2015)

Bottom Line: However, concerns about overall utility and the reliability of benefits to patient care have impeded the growth of POCT in some areas.When properly utilized, POCT has been shown to yield measurable improvements in patient care, workflow efficiency, and even provide significant financial benefits.To ensure maximal benefits it may be necessary to evaluate critically and restructure existing clinical pathways to capitalize better on the rapid test turnaround times provided by POCT.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University , Uppsala , Sweden.

ABSTRACT
Point-of-care testing (POCT) refers to any diagnostic test administered outside the central laboratory at or near the location of the patient. By performing the sample collection and data analysis steps in the same location POCT cuts down on transport and processing delays, resulting in the rapid feedback of test results to medical decision-makers. Over the past decades the availability and use of POCT have steadily increased in Europe and throughout the international community. However, concerns about overall utility and the reliability of benefits to patient care have impeded the growth of POCT in some areas. While there is no agreed-upon standard for how success should be judged, the increases in speed and mobility provided by POCT can lead to substantial advantages over traditional laboratory testing. When properly utilized, POCT has been shown to yield measurable improvements in patient care, workflow efficiency, and even provide significant financial benefits. However, important organizational and quality assurance challenges must be addressed with the implementation of POCT in any health care environment. To ensure maximal benefits it may be necessary to evaluate critically and restructure existing clinical pathways to capitalize better on the rapid test turnaround times provided by POCT.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Diagram illustrating differences in processing between POCT and laboratory testing.
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Figure 1: Diagram illustrating differences in processing between POCT and laboratory testing.

Mentions: The primary advantages of POCT are rapid TAT for test results and increased mobility. By removing transport and laboratory processing times, POCT allows for near immediate access to test results, compared with the 1 to 2 h (or more) delays that occur if sent to a central laboratory (see Figure 1 for a schematic depiction of the differences between POCT and laboratory testing). These delays are often too long for non-emergency patients to wait in the doctor’s office, and this forces health care providers to spend additional time following up with patients over the phone or during a subsequent visit, further delaying treatment decisions. The critical factor in determining if POCT can positively influence patient outcomes is whether shorter TATs can properly be taken advantage of to guide patient care. A randomized controlled trial in the accident and emergency department of a UK teaching hospital compared the amount of time taken to reach health management decisions between patients where POCT was utilized and patients evaluated through traditional means. In the POCT treatment group physicians reached patient management decisions an average of 74 min faster (5). When utilized as part of an overall health management strategy the ability to expedite decision-making and patient management can result in a number of benefits in the quality and efficiency of care.


The state of point-of-care testing: a European perspective.

Larsson A, Greig-Pylypczuk R, Huisman A - Ups. J. Med. Sci. (2015)

Diagram illustrating differences in processing between POCT and laboratory testing.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4389002&req=5

Figure 1: Diagram illustrating differences in processing between POCT and laboratory testing.
Mentions: The primary advantages of POCT are rapid TAT for test results and increased mobility. By removing transport and laboratory processing times, POCT allows for near immediate access to test results, compared with the 1 to 2 h (or more) delays that occur if sent to a central laboratory (see Figure 1 for a schematic depiction of the differences between POCT and laboratory testing). These delays are often too long for non-emergency patients to wait in the doctor’s office, and this forces health care providers to spend additional time following up with patients over the phone or during a subsequent visit, further delaying treatment decisions. The critical factor in determining if POCT can positively influence patient outcomes is whether shorter TATs can properly be taken advantage of to guide patient care. A randomized controlled trial in the accident and emergency department of a UK teaching hospital compared the amount of time taken to reach health management decisions between patients where POCT was utilized and patients evaluated through traditional means. In the POCT treatment group physicians reached patient management decisions an average of 74 min faster (5). When utilized as part of an overall health management strategy the ability to expedite decision-making and patient management can result in a number of benefits in the quality and efficiency of care.

Bottom Line: However, concerns about overall utility and the reliability of benefits to patient care have impeded the growth of POCT in some areas.When properly utilized, POCT has been shown to yield measurable improvements in patient care, workflow efficiency, and even provide significant financial benefits.To ensure maximal benefits it may be necessary to evaluate critically and restructure existing clinical pathways to capitalize better on the rapid test turnaround times provided by POCT.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University , Uppsala , Sweden.

ABSTRACT
Point-of-care testing (POCT) refers to any diagnostic test administered outside the central laboratory at or near the location of the patient. By performing the sample collection and data analysis steps in the same location POCT cuts down on transport and processing delays, resulting in the rapid feedback of test results to medical decision-makers. Over the past decades the availability and use of POCT have steadily increased in Europe and throughout the international community. However, concerns about overall utility and the reliability of benefits to patient care have impeded the growth of POCT in some areas. While there is no agreed-upon standard for how success should be judged, the increases in speed and mobility provided by POCT can lead to substantial advantages over traditional laboratory testing. When properly utilized, POCT has been shown to yield measurable improvements in patient care, workflow efficiency, and even provide significant financial benefits. However, important organizational and quality assurance challenges must be addressed with the implementation of POCT in any health care environment. To ensure maximal benefits it may be necessary to evaluate critically and restructure existing clinical pathways to capitalize better on the rapid test turnaround times provided by POCT.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus