Looking for a way to improve outcomes with point-of-care (POC) testing? Join faculty members from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at AACC’s online conference “Leading the Way to Positive Outcomes: The Role of POCT in Patient-Centered Care,” to learn more about effective POCT utilization.

POC tests are expanding “and there is a significant horizon developing,” Oscar “Skip” Brown, MD, vice chair of clinical affairs at UTMB’s Department of Pediatrics and chair of the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told CLN Stat. The question is whether practices know enough about POCT’s benefits and limits “to ask and answer questions about the value they bring to healthcare provision within a given setting,” Brown said.

He and John R. Petersen, PhD, a professor of pathology and the director of UTMB’s Victory Lakes clinical laboratory, are hoping to shed some light on this topic during their session, “Effective POCT Utilization: The Key to Improved Outcomes.”

Brown will offer a clinician’s view of using POCT in patient-centered care at UTMB. The discussion will focus on historical applications of POCT in primary care “with a brief emphasis on how this has affected delivery of care since the 1980s when the first RAD-Strep became available,” he said.

Petersen will discuss how laboratorians use and manage POCT in remote settings. As he explained to CLN Stat, “we have more than 40 CLIA sites that cover academic and non-academic clinics. All but one of these clinics is within 120 miles of the main hospital/campus.”

Both speakers offered up a list of practical steps labs can take to see improved outcomes for POCT:

  1. Know the POC tests that are being used in the clinics. Whenever possible, use instrument-based readers to eliminate visual reading and use of majority rule to determine whether the test was positive or negative.
  2. Instead of using manual entry, opt for connectivity solutions to document testing, quality control, and maintenance at the point of care. If manual entry is necessary, make data entry as painless as possible.
  3. Evaluate how well a test integrates into a practice site and delivery of care in that site, or by the use of the test by a given specialty.
  4. Be willing to periodically critique information and changes brought about within the practice by the information presented. It may be different than expected and it may demand honest reassessment of the proposed benefits.
  5. Does the POCT identify other areas of practice change now that this information is available?

Leading the Way to Positive Outcomes: The Role of POCT in Patient-Centered Care,” takes place April 28 with support from Roche Point of Care and Instrumentation Laboratory. Sign up for this exciting and informative online conference today, earn your ACCENT points, and gain a new foothold on the rapidly developing world of POCT. AACC members will save more than $100 on registration.