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Point of Care Testing (POCT)

Point of Care Testing (POCT) is laboratory testing or analyses performed in the clinical setting by non-laboratory healthcare professionals.

As POCT is performed close to the patient, the results are available more quickly than for samples sent to the laboratory. This has benefits for medical care delivery to critically ill patients. POCT is also used in day-case and outpatient clinics to improve efficiencies and reduce patient waiting.

However, there are disadvantages with POCT compared with laboratory testing. For example, POCT analysers are not as sophisticated as laboratory analysers so the results may not be as accurate. POCT also tends to be more expensive than conventional laboratory testing.

CMFT has a well-established POCT infrastructure to ensure the benefits of this exciting technology can be realised while managing the inherent risks and costs associated with it. The CMFT POCT Policy and POCT Committee are central to the governance structure. The POCT Team Leaders manage operational matters including evaluating equipment, providing training programmes, standard operating procedures, operator proficiency testing, auditing and recording of POCT test results (paper and electronic).