AACC’s Point-of-Care (POC) Specialist Certificate Program, designed to prepare POC coordinators and specialists for their roles and to promote best practices, has been significantly updated for 2014. Faculty co-chairs Kerstin Halverson, MS, of the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and Marcia Zucker, PhD, of ZIVD LLC in Metuchen, New Jersey, invited 16 colleagues worldwide to help revise course content.

“About half of our colleagues were involved with the original development and about half were new to the revision. They were split into eight teams of two, based on their course preference, and assigned one of the eight courses to review and update content,” Halverson explains. “They then were assigned—in different pairs—a different course on which to complete a second round of review, so we had four sets of eyes look at each course.”

The POC program is composed of these eight courses: administration, communication, connectivity and information technology, education and training, instrument selection and validation, policies and procedures, quality management, and regulation. For 2014, “some courses had much more content change than others, especially the quality management, education and training, communications, and connectivity and information technology courses,” Halverson says. “We anticipated some changes, because regulations and technology are in a constant state of change.”

The revised program also reflects international expertise in the quality management and regulations courses that was made possible by including feedback from professionals outside the United States.

Overall, the POC Specialist Program “enables the learner to gain knowledge of best practices for choosing a device, interfacing devices and managing competencies for many operators at once,” Halverson says. And for seasoned professionals, “it serves as a refresher program, covering regulatory updates along with updates to technology that have occurred since the program was first put together.”

The program enables participants to earn 13 ACCENT continuing education credits, as well as a certificate of completion. Each 1- to 2-hour course is offered online and includes a mix of lectures, readings, quizzes, case studies, practical exercises, and recommended references. It also has a 50-question multiple-choice exam and a discussion board. Open enrollment is available until Dec. 31, 2014, with program access until July 15, 2015. The fee is $250 for AACC members and $500 for non-members.

“Each person who enrolls and completes the program will pull something different as their takeaway, ranging from regulatory compliance tips, interfacing options and managing competencies, to administration of a POC testing program,” Halverson says.

Learn more about the POC Specialist Certificate Program.