The Point-of-Care Testing Standards apply to organizations that provide point-of-care testing as defined below. Organizations that have a central biomedical lab are to use these standards in conjunction with Accreditation Canada's Biomedical Lab Services Standards and the Lab and Blood Services Standards.
The Point-of-Care Testing Standards reference the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standards Z22870-07, Point-of-care testing - requirements for quality and competence (based on ISO standard Z22870: 2006) published by the CSA in November 2007. Organizations are to use the Point-of-Care Testing Standards in conjunction with Plus 15189: The ISO 15189:2003 Essentials published by the CSA in 2007.
Point-of-care testing (POCT) refers to any testing conducted outside a lab, in a hospital, in a clinic or by a health care organization providing ambulatory care. Point-of-Care Testing should be medically prescribed and all results should be entered into the client record. This includes testing performed at sites outside the traditional lab dedicated to medical biology, near where care is delivered to the client. (1) Point-of-care test results may lead to a change in the care of the client. (2) POCT ranges between three levels of complexity, from simple procedures such as glucose testing, moderate-complexity procedures (including provider performed microscopy procedures), or high-complexity procedures such as influenza testing. Health care professionals delivering POCT usually use test kits, which may include hand-held devices to read blood, saliva, or urine samples.
In the POCT Standards, the term "organization" is used in place of the term "lab" since POCT may be carried out in organizations that do not have a central biomedical lab (e.g. long term care, home care, or a community pharmacy), but have an agreement and work with a central biomedical lab that is offsite. Further, POCT may be carried out in both public and private organizations. The roles and responsibilities of a lab director are also adaptable to health care settings without a lab with the addition of the qualifier "or suitably qualified health care professional."
This standard section covers the following sections:
- Having the Right Supports in Place for POCT
- Making Sure People are Competent
- Complying with Good Lab Practice
- Delivering Safe and Effective POCT
- Monitoring Quality and Achieving Positive Outcomes