Community-Based Point-of-Care Testing Policy
On May 1, 2020, the Ministry of Health approved the Community-Based Point-of-Care Testing Policy, which is now in effect.
The policy is intended to help enable quality and safe access to point-of-care testing provided in community-based settings.
The Ministry of Health’s policy defines Point-of-care testing (POCT) as a form of patient-centric health care and refers to diagnostic tests performed at, or near, the site of a patient, with the result leading to a possible change in care for the patient. POCT is performed to guide treatment decisions and support medical care, and is often provided by health-care professionals, other qualified health-care providers, and in some cases by individuals themselves. POCT can be performed in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, physician offices, ambulances, nursing and long-term care facilities, patient residences, or other community-based point-of-care settings.
The Ministry has prepared the Community-Based Point-of-Care Testing Policy to guide appropriate implementation of POCT by community-based health-care providers that fall outside the laboratory accreditation authority.
The Community-Based Point-of-Care Testing Policy is intended to help enable quality and safe access to POCT provided in community-based settings.
The policy provides guidelines for health-care providers on the following topics:
- Safety and Training
- Care Environments
- Reporting Results
- Follow-Up Care
- Proficiency and Quality Control
- Device and Equipment
- Specimen Collection Considerations
POCT Standards Under Development
The Community-Based Point-of-Care Testing Policy provides a foundation for Colleges seeking to establish POCT standards of practice to enhance the quality of care provided by their registrants.
The College of Pharmacists of BC is currently in the process of developing specific Point-of-Care Standards. More information on these specific standards will be published at a future date.