Implementing point-of-care testing to improve outcomes

Elizabeth Lee Lewandrowski, Kent Lewandrowski


Point-of-care testing (POCT) is defined as testing performed outside of the central laboratory at or near the patient’s bedside. A number of devices have been developed that permit a wide menu of tests to be performed at the POC. In most cases the unit cost of POC tests is greater than similar testing performed in the central laboratory. For this reason when implementing POCT it is important to demonstrate an improvement in outcomes to justify the added incremental cost of the testing. Outcomes may be classified as either medical outcomes, financial outcomes or outcomes reflecting an improvement in clinical operations or efficiency. In most cases where outcomes have been demonstrated for POCT the impact has been to improve the efficiency of clinical operations. Less often POCT has been linked to an improvement in medical outcomes. This paper will describe selected case studies available in the literature to demonstrate how improved outcomes can be achieved and documented from POCT in a variety of different settings.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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