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.

Point of Care Testing (POCT) provides several benefits for the patient and healthcare facility alike, delivering a rapid turnaround of medical diagnostic tests. This in return aids clinical decision making, resulting in the immediate management of patient care. When POCT is conducted using governance standard procedures it works in providing safe urgent clinical diagnosis to prevent and monitor unknown and known disease pathways.

A community POCT service cannot only assist in the above but can make real time differences to reduce unnecessary acute hospital admissions, manage patient health, care, and wellbeing with health inequalities in mind. It can also save clinicians and health care staff time, by providing the rapid turnaround times for test results. Which ultimately means cost effectiveness and when aligned against governance standards leads to a safe, quality, and compliant led service.

This project was conducted in partnership with BLMK ICB (Bedford, Luton, and Milton Keynes: Integrated Care Board) and MKUH (Milton Keynes University Hospital) Pathology to discover and identify POCT services and devices in use across Milton Keynes GP Primary Care Network (PCN).

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