Point-of-Care Testing Designed to Increase Quality of Care But Not Immune From Error

So-called Point-of-Care Testing is a relatively new program that’s designed to improve more accurate, more efficient, and quicker test results that would ordinarily have to be sent to a off-site laboratory.
Point-of-care tests—allowing common lab results to be rapidly obtained at or near the bedside or in the doctor’s office—are becoming increasingly sophisticated and widely used. However, with new technologies, there are new risks or potential for new errors. According to Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, “In his editorial, Dr Nichols calls for a risk management perspective on POCT. Since these tests are more prone to certain types of errors than traditional medical tests, he emphasizes the need for special attention to quality control, operator training, and other steps to ensure that point-of-care tests are used appropriately, with a focus on safeguarding patient safety.”