Point-of-Care Testing Service at St Thomas' Hospital
Improving outcomes for patients by supporting clinicians in obtaining results, quickly.
Exciting improvements in technology have allowed a number of analyses, which previously could only be performed in the laboratory, to be carried out in a wide range of settings, at the point of care.
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT), near patient or bedside testing, refers to any analytical test performed by non-pathology staff outside the conventional laboratory setting. Our POCT service aims to improve outcomes for patients, by supporting clinicians in getting results and determining effective treatment quickly.
We are heavily involved in the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust multidisciplinary Point-of-Care Testing Committee. The Committee promotes best practice of POCT locally, and includes senior managers, laboratory staff, clinicians, nursing staff, pharmacists, diabetes specialist nurses and medical electronic engineers.
Best practice includes:
- Individuals being trained in the key elements of sample collection, quality control and quality assurance, analysis, maintenance and documentation before being authorised to provide analytical services for patients.
- Only trained and accredited staff use the equipment.
- POCT is integrated with clinical laboratory services to ensure quality standardisation and appropriate use.
- POCT is adopted and used only if it benefits clinical practice within the hospital and community as a whole.