Point of Care Testing Guidelines – From The Professionals In Diagnostics
Point-of-care testing or near-patient testing has the ability to take testing to where the patient needs it. It has the ability to reach those hard-to-reach cohorts who struggle through no fault of their own to engage with traditional testing pathways.
The NHS recognises this and is actively encouraging Integrated Care Systems providers to look at:
- new pathways to improve outcomes in population health and healthcare;
- tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access;
- enhance productivity and value for money and
- help the NHS support broader social and economic development.1
The potential of point-of-care products within the NHS pathways has gained recognition after COVID. This led to a flood of new and novel point-of-care tests entering the market, making the selection of the right diagnostic test or analyser complicated and possibly even dangerous without the right input from professionals.
Luckily, the UK has qualified professionals in diagnostic testing all across the country in NHS pathology departments. Representatives from The Association of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the Institute of Biomedical Science and The Royal College for Pathologists have come together to write: Point of Care Testing: National Strategic Guidance for Point of Need Testing2. This paper provides comprehensive guidance and recommendations to be considered when introducing a point of care setting.
Point of Care Testing: National Strategic Guidance for Point of Need Testing encourages anyone looking to introduce point-of-care testing to consult with professionals in diagnostics. This ensures that the implemented products undergo evaluation and maintenance, with a focus on prioritising patient safety and result accuracy in every decision.
References and further reading:
- NHS England – What are integrated care systems? – https://www.england.nhs.uk/integratedcare/what-is-integrated-care/
- IBMS – National POCT Guidance 2023 – https://www.ibms.org/resources/news/national-poct-strategy/