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Putting Tools into Practice: Addressing Problems in Your POCT Program


The Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (formerly AACC) will hold its 5th Point-of-Care Testing conference, a one-day conference which focuses on improving point-of-care testing (POCT) programs using tools, processes, and strategies. The faculty selected for their expertise in POCT will share common problems, present practical solutions, and provide a workbook to help participants implement the suggestions.

This event is designed for POCT professionals including medical technologists, POC coordinators and supervisors, POC medical directors, and others who perform and/or manage POCT in patient care settings. For more details and to register, click here.

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People, Partners, and Platforms at the Point of Care


Point-of-care testing—the requests and the committees that oversee them, the connectivity, what AI might bring. CAP TODAY publisher Bob McGonnagle on July 21 met online with a laboratory operations director and a medical director from large health systems and with company representatives for a look at where things stand today. Their conversation follows.

It’s important that we define what the term point of care is and what it isn’t. We know it’s testing that’s done close to the patient and for which the test result is provided when the patient is still onsite so an intervention, such as adjusting a dosage, can happen. We talk about the tradeoff—convenience versus cost. We know that point-of-care testing and central or core lab testing have to coexist. This is overlaid now with a serious shortage of skilled labor, and, increasingly, patients being directed to patient service centers for their draws.

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Disruptive Technologies at the Point of Care


A wrist-worn high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I monitor was one of the wearable devices and health monitors highlighted in a session on emerging technologies for point-of-care testing at the Association for Diagnostics and Laboratory Medicine meeting in July.

James Nichols, PhD, D(ABCC), of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in his talk on disruptive technologies, cited a study published this year in which a transdermal infrared spectrophotometric sensor was shown to be clinically feasible for rapid, bloodless prediction of elevated hs-cTnI levels in patients with acute coronary syndromes (Sengupta S, et al. Eur Heart J Digit Health. 2023;4[3]:145–154).

For the study, 238 hospitalized patients with ACS at five sites in India were enrolled.

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Applying Laboratory Quality Principles to Real World POCT Systems

By Kathleen David, MT (ASCP) and Jeanne Mumford, MLS (ASCP)

In the Continuing Education article in the April 2023 issue of MLO, laboratory quality management systems were discussed and details provided on each component. When it comes to maintaining quality in point-of-care testing (POCT), we are often presented with very different sets of challenges than our laboratory counterparts. While POCT is subject to the same CLIA regulations, minimal guidance is offered on how to meet those needs in POCT systems. One challenge is that testing personnel who perform POCT are non-laboratorians, meaning that some of the guidance available may not be written in language that non-laboratorian staff can easily understand. Another is that ..

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What Can Go Wrong With Point-of-Care Testing?

Clinical Laboratory News / July/August 2023

Point-of-Care testing (POCT) provides rapid test results with the potential to improve treatment. Additional advantages of POCT include small sample volumes, a wide variety of tests available, little to no processing required to run the tests, and ease of use within the clinical patient flow. However, when incorrectly performed or inappropriately utilized, POCT can generate misleading results that require additional follow-up testing at increased cost and risk to the patient.

Just as in traditional laboratory testing, the majority of POCT errors occur in the pre-analytical phase. These are processes that occur before the specimen is analyzed. Unfortunately, the instrument, operator, or clinician interpreting the results cannot readily identify most pre-analytical errors. Some pre-analytical variables specific to POCT are patient misidentification, improper specimen collection, air bubbles, hemolysis, improper site selection, and interfering substances.


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Connectivity marks an evolution in point-of-care testing

Tech-driven diagnosis, accuracy and quality control are driving the uptake of point-of-care testing.

By Farhana Chowdhury

Patients are more comfortable with finger pricks versus a venous draw, which is strengthening the popularity of point-of-care testing across the globe, shared Prof. Rajiv Erasmus, Head of the Department of Chemical Pathology at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, at his session, “Connectivity strategies in managing Point of Care services” that took place on Day two of the Medlab Middle East Congress 2023.

Complimenting the phenomenon, multiplex testing is further set to be the next biggest trend in the field, as it provides an accurate diagnosis of multiple underlying infections in one sitting while retaining quality control. “We are now getting point of care instruments that are very precise, accurate, portable and use very small amounts of blood,” Prof. Erasmus added.

Prof. Erasmus was among the speakers sharing the latest insights and developments under the Technological Advances and Vital Clinical Impact track, supported by The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.

Point-of-care testing is currently at the forefront of creating value in healthcare...

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The Role of Point-of-Care Ketone Testing in the Hospital

MLO | May2023 | Dennis Begos, MD, FACS

Blood glucose testing in hospitals using point-of-care testing (POCT) devices has been a mainstay of glycemic control for decades, and the benefits of this are well documented and recognized by patients, providers, and laboratory professionals. POCT measurement of ketones is a more recent development and is the next logical step in managing patients with diabetes in the hospital. Measuring ketones goes hand in hand with hyperglycemia, and POCT ketone testing confers the same advantages as it does for glucose: rapid, accurate results with the ability to make treatment decisions in real time.

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Introducing OneLab TEST!

Do you test or screen people for COVID-19, mpox, HIV, diabetes, or other health conditions? Whether you work or volunteer at a clinic, nursing home, school, detention facility, drive-through site, or another non-laboratory setting, we invite you to join OneLab TEST (Timely Education and Support of Testers). OneLab TEST is a new collaborative network developed to strengthen connections between the testing community and CDC to support the ever-increasing need to expand access to diagnostic testing. 

OneLab TEST launches May 1 and provides support and resources to personnel who perform testing in non-laboratory settings, such as schools and drive-through sites. OneLab TEST seeks to —

  • Connect the testing community and exchange lessons learned
  • Train the testing community with free educational resources
  • Empower testers to train and learn from one another in a community of practice

Stay tuned for more information and a link to register for OneLab TEST. In the meantime, please send questions or suggestions for training content to

Views on Point of Care versus Core and more

CAP Today, February 2023

Point of care or core lab? An old question but a new conversation, this one between Stan Schofield, formerly of MaineHealth (until his retirement on Jan. 6), Werfen chief commercial officer Brian Durkin, and CAP TODAY publisher Bob McGonnagle (asking the questions). Here’s what they said about that and health care economics, autoimmune testing, tube supplies—and, of course, the labor shortage because it affects nearly everything in health care. “We know the labor shortage isn’t going to turn around,” Durkin said.

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