There are so many hot topics in point-of-care testing (POCT), they had to be broken into two sessions at this year’s AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo: “Hot Topics in POCT: New Standards and ED Protocols” (74105), and “Hot Topics in POCT: Implementing Standards into Practice, Clinical Outcomes and Changing Regulations” (74215).

In 74105—a morning short course on July 29 developed in cooperation with the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute—speakers Alison Woodworth, PhD and Peter Luppa, MD, will present a new standard on assessment criteria for comparing POCT versus central laboratory testing. They also will discuss how to implement standards in clinical practice. Woodworth, an assistant professor of pathology, microbiology, and immunology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, will look at meeting turnaround time (TAT) requirements for the Emergency Department (ED), including current standards for stroke and chest pain protocols. She will explore options for meeting ED TAT, from POCT to satellite laboratories or even stat benches in the core lab.

Meanwhile, Luppa will highlight a new guideline, DIN 58964, from the Deutsches Institut für Normung, describing criteria to compare POCT instruments to the core laboratory and his experience with implementing this standard in Germany. He is a professor of clinical chemistry at the Technical University (TU) of Munich. Luppa also is director of the central laboratory and blood bank at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at the Klinikum rechts der Isar, the academic hospital of TU. He also serves as POCT coordinator for the entire hospital.

In the afternoon on July 29, session 74215—developed in cooperation with the AACC Government Relations Committee and AACC’s Critical and POCT Division—will feature James Nichols, PhD, Timothy Isbell, PhD, and Sharon Ehrmeyer, PhD, MT (ASCP), who all will emphasize practical issues involving POCT.

Nichols—who chairs AACC’s Government Relations Committee and is a professor of pathology, microbiology, and immunology and medical director of clinical chemistry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center—will present examples of how implementing guidelines and standards has improved clinical outcomes in hospitalized inpatients and community outpatient clinics.

Meanwhile, Isbell, an assistant professor and director of clinical chemistry and of the molecular diagnostics laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, will look at whether POCT has only a perceived benefit or a true positive impact on clinical outcomes. “POCT often is implemented to obtain faster TAT, when in actuality it can complicate processes and add additional documentation and quality assurance burdens to an already over-worked staff,” Nichols told CLN Stat.

This session will wrap up with Ehrmeyer, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, discussing several of the recent proposed changes to laboratory regulations that will impact lab practice over the next several years, including individualized quality control plans, glucose meter regulations, lab-developed tests, and more.

Register online to catch up on all the hot POCT issues.