Point of Care Testing (POCT) in NZ
Point-of-Care Testing, also known as near-patient testing, is the analysis of clinical specimens outside the traditional laboratory, near to, or at the site of patient care. It may be performed by multiple users including clinical staff whose primary training is not in medical laboratory science. It has an important role to play in the delivery of an efficient healthcare system because of its ability to provide a rapid result near the patient which is able to be acted upon immediately, and which may lead to a diagnosis or a possible change in the care of the patient.
POCT guidelines for NZ best practise have recently been provided by the NZ Point of Care Testing Advisory Group. The purpose of these guidelines is to assist all potential users of point-of-care testing (POCT) but with a particular emphasis on those healthcare professionals without a laboratory background who are required to perform point of care tests or who may be interested in implementing POCT at their facility.