In line with the Government's policy of providing services which are focused on the needs and wishes of patients, point of care testing in pathology is on the increase and is predicted to grow by 30 percent within the next five years. Point of care testing may be located in a number of healthcare settings outside of the pathology environment i.e. primary, secondary, community and the patients' home.
The Medicines and Healthcare Devices Regulatory Agency recommends that formal arrangements are made for the local laboratory to manage and regulate point of care testing and for the results from point of care testing to be entered into the patient record; seen as essential for the drive for greater efficiency highlighted in Lord Carter's report and the QIPP agenda.
All aspects of the PoCT process needs to be adequately controlled in a way that ensures 'the right result for the right patient is available at the right time'. Having PoCT results in the EPR is extremely important as it provides a more complete clinical picture which ultimately improves patient care. As a result, CPA have released new standards for PoCT based on ISO 22870.
Advances in analyser technology allow a laboratory organisation to remotely monitor analyser performance and patient results. When in place this is presently handled by multiple supplier specific software applications that are designed to control their own devices and do not manage the PoCT processes for multiple manufacturer devices. Therefore, a single open and independent PoCT management solution such as CliniSys PoCT Solutions offers massive opportunities for trusts to realise efficiencies and cost savings in terms of resource, analyser and reagent costs and also IT infrastructure.