Point of care testing

Point of Care Testing - Putting The Patient First

Point of Care Tests are those that, because of modern technology, can be performed nearer to the patient, i.e. on a ward/clinic, in a GP surgery, or by district nurses in the patient’s home etc. All grades or professions can be involved in PoCT.

The term Point of Care Testing (PoCT) is not yet universally used. Other terms such as Near Patient Testing, Office Testing, or Decentralised Testing have also been used in the past.

Some examples of common Point of Care Tests include:

  • Blood Gas
  • Blood Glucose
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine Pregnancy Test
  • H.pylori Stool Antigen
  • Haemoglobin
  • INR Tests.

The development of new PoCT is ongoing at a rapid pace, and is a significant growth area of modern Pathology. 

Some PoC tests are relatively simple to perform (e.g. Urinalysis) and are commonly undertaken in most clinical areas, while others (e.g. Blood Gas) require sophisticated equipment, and are restricted to more specialist units. 


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