Enhancing patient care: a synergistic approach to diagnostics

With the emergence of new patient care pathways, the growth of point-of-care testing has been driven by new technology. This has offered patients improved health outcomes, utilising diagnostics and solutions that help relieve the pressures on our health system.

Achieving POCT accreditation for the UK’s largest blood gas service

While provision for point-of-care testing (POCT) is growing hugely, UKAS ISO 15189 accreditation for such services is still in its infancy. Haval Ozgun, POCT Manager and Network Lead at South West London Pathology, explains how his service successfully gained accreditation.

Group A Streptococcus: introducing a rapid molecular POC test

Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as Group A Streptococcus, is the prime cause of bacterial pharyngitis and results in major disease worldwide. Ranging from non-invasive disease to severe invasive disease such as necrotising fasciitis, toxic shock syndrome and scarlet fever, the infection is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Here, Naomi Mason and colleagues investigate the use of a new near-patient test.

ISO 15189:2022 – How do the changes impact point-of-care testing?

ISO 15189:2022 arrived in November 2022 although its impact is not fully understood with individual organisations looking to conduct a full gap analysis against the ISO 15189:2012 and 22870:2016. Lead biomedical scientist Tony Cambridge looks at what the changes mean for those involved in point-of-care testing.

Establishing a national POCT network for Wales – challenges and benefits

Annette Thomas offers a personal reflection on her role in setting up and developing point-of-care testing services in Wales, culminating in the establishment of Wales’s National POCT Strategy earlier this year highlighting the vision for the delivery of services along with the creation of a more formal Strategy Board.

The Power to Disrupt: point-of-care testing in the modern NHS

The latest in Thornhill Healthcare Events’ series of conferences on point-of-care testing took place at the end of March in Nottingham. Once again a wide variety of speakers had been gathered to share their experiences of using near-patient diagnostics within the modern NHS with an engaged audience made up of healthcare professionals from across the health service. Pathology in Practice reports on the day’s presentations.

The continued evolution of PCR diagnostics into the community

James Beckett explains how the use of molecular point-of-care testing (POCT) has seen exponential growth in recent years, from its hospital-based origins to its widespread community use for detection of infections, sexual health screening and, more recently, respiratory disease diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Risk management in POC testing: learning from industry standards

In the risk assessment of point-of-care services, the aim is to provide a robust service that provides the right result on the right patient every time. Here, Carole Gough looks not only to standards in the laboratory, but also to international risk management standards applicable across, for example, the pharmaceutical, medical device and aviation industries.

POCT discovery project: strategic changes for primary care settings

Specialist biomedical scientist Rakhee Surti details a recent project to evaluate community POCT services around Milton Keynes, initiated to document key strategic recommendations for improving and digitally transforming POCT services within the primary care community.

How can POCT help to alleviate NHS winter pressures?

New point-of-care testing technology boasts rapidly expanding capabilities, and a new piece of equipment from HORIBA offers under-pressure NHS frontline staff laboratory-accurate tests within minutes, allowing them to make quicker treatment decisions.

Back with a buzz – Point-of-care Innovations event returns

The first post-pandemic Point of Care Testing: Innovations conference took place during September in Bristol, with Tony Cambridge’s Thornhill Events bringing together a diverse programme of speakers to discuss the future of decentralised diagnostics.

Point-of-care testing: an overview of the developing supply chain crisis

Supply chain interruption or restriction is becoming a fact of life, both in the clinical laboratory and in the wider healthcare environment. Here, Tony Cambridge considers the various issues affecting the supply of consumables to the near-patient testing arena.

Models of point-of-care diagnostics provision: an overview of the future

Currently, there is a move in healthcare that would see a range of diagnostic services relocated from hospitals into the urban environment of town and city centres, to facilitate easier patient access. Here, Tony Cambridge focuses on a selection of models proposed for the delivery of in vitro diagnostic testing outside the traditional laboratory and in the community.

Viscoelastic POC testing helps to stem post-partum haemorrhage

Point-of-care testing has found application across the breadth of healthcare, a recent prime example being the role of viscoelastic POC testing in post-partum bleeding management in obstetrics.

Placental growth factor: supporting management of pre-eclampsia

Although the exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known, it is thought to occur when a problem develops with the placenta. Routine blood pressure and proteinuria checks are performed during the antenatal period to detect this condition, and can now be complemented by the addition of near-patient placental growth factor testing.

High-sensitivity troponin: bringing testing to the point of patient care

High-sensitivity assays and point-of-care testing are having a significant effect on how quickly acute coronary syndrome can be examined. Here, Holger Gundelach discusses how this is improving patient outcomes.

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