Point-of-Care Testing

Over a million laboratory tests are performed outside of the central laboratory in the presence of the patient at the bedside or near the patient each year. This testing is defined as Point of Care Testing (POCT) and is typically performed by non-laboratory personnel. POCT covers degrees of complexity and a range of procedures that vary from manual methodologies to automated analyzers and that are identified as “waived” (simple) or “non-waived” (moderately complex) testing.

In accordance with Hospital and Laboratory Accrediting Agencies and Federal and State regulations, all laboratory testing within a Medical Center environment must be performed under CLIA certification under the general direction of the Director of Laboratory Medicine or her designee.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) POCT Oversight Committee approves all POCT technology to be performed within the Health System. The POCT Oversight Committee determines the need and appropriateness of POCT. At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, point of care testing is under the authority, jurisdiction, and direction of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

The POCT section selects the optimal instrumentation and/or methodology needed, assists with the writing of all of the necessary policies and procedures, conducts appropriate instrument and procedural correlation studies, defines appropriate quality control studies, determines proficiency testing needs, assists in training and competency programs, and oversees continuous monitoring of quality-management issues.

Point of Care Testing performed throughout the University of Pennsylvania Health System includes:

  • Whole Blood Glucose
  • Blood Gas and Co-Oximetry
  • Whole Blood Chemistry Panel
  • Hematology – Complete Blood Count with automated differential
  • Cardiac Marker Testing
  • Activated Clotting Time
  • PT/INR
  • Hemoglobin A1C
  • Microdialysis – Interstitial Fluid Monitoring for traumatic brain injury
  • Platelet Response- p2y12
  • Automated Urinalysis
  • Manual Urine Dipstick
  • Urine Pregnancy
  • Rapid Strep A
  • Gastric /Fecal Occult Blood
  • Gastric/Amniotic pH Testing
  • Provider Performed Microscopy