Laboratory professionals have not typically been a part of integrated patient care and historically have functioned autonomously in the laboratory, which is often geographically removed from the patient care areas of the hospital.
In order for POCT to contribute to the patient-centered healthcare approach desired, the laboratory staff must be involved by providing expertise and support to the health care staff members performing testing in locations outside of the central or main laboratory. This support can come in many ways. Supportive roles for POCT include, but are not limited to:
- Evaluation and adoption of test kits and POC instruments
- Correlation studies
- Provision of policy and procedure
- Technical support, as appropriate
- Training and competency assessment
- Periodic review of test and quality control results
- Corrective action for failed QC and proficiency testing, as appropriate
- Participation in on going quality assessment
A point-of-care testing coordinator (POCC) may be a laboratory employee or supervisor or personnel from another department as determined appropriate by the healthcare facility. It is important to verify that the POCC is qualified to perform all the administrative tasks (eg, competency assessment of testing personnel) delegated by the laboratory director, if POCT is classified as nonwaived testing and the testing is subject to CLIA regulations. The POCC must have the flexibility to visit remote hospital locations and clinics where testing is performed.