Point of Care Testing
As the name suggests, point of care (POC) is the testing done at the patient’s bedside. Various small handheld instruments are used to perform the bedside testing for blood glucose, blood gases, clotting time, electrolytes, etc. Various instruments used are i-STAT, AccuChek Inform II, GEM 4000, Hemochron, and AVOXimeter. There are also small kits used for pregnancy, strep A, mono, influenza, occult blood, and urinalysis. The POC testing is performed in the ED, OR, ICUs, and outpatient clinics. Accuchek testing is performed by all hospital units by 1400 trained and certified operators.
All testing is performed by the trained nurses or clinical techs. All of the operators have to be trained and competent before they can perform any POC testing. All of the instruments used have a lock-out system. The operator has to scan his/her hospital ID badge to get the access to perform the tests. All results can be traced back to the operator.
All of the instruments used in POC are calibrated against the main laboratory instruments every six months. The POC department monitors all the testing through a computer system called RALS, comparing the bedside results to the main laboratory results.