Point of Care Testing

What is POCT?

Point of Care Testing (POCT) is a term used to describe laboratory testing, performed by non-laboratory staff at or near the patient.

As POCT is performed at or near the patient results are available more rapidly than if the samples had been sent to the hospital laboratory for testing.

This has many benefits in the delivery of care for all patients, in providing accurate & timely results to aid in diagnosis, treatment & monitoring of patients provided with minimal delay if current standards are adhered to.

There are also disadvantages with POCT compared with laboratory testing. For many POCT tests the equipment used to perform the analysis is not as sophisticated as in the laboratory, also the cost of each test performed at the POCT is usually greater than hospital laboratory testing.

The trust supports POCT services through a POCT co-ordinator and the POCT committee, which is a multi-disciplinary group set up to ensure that all such testing is done appropriately, accurately and safely.

All POCT devices (eg blood glucose meters, blood gas analysers, urinalysis test strips, coagulometers etc), must be registered by the committee, so that issues such as training, maintenance and internal and external quality control can be arranged.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust supports Point of Care Testing at both The James Cook University Hospital and the Friarage Hospital.

POCT Policy

Staff can download the trust’s G123 POCT Policy via the intranet.