Background: Point-of-care testing (POCT) can provide rapid test results, but its impact on patient care is not well documented. We investigated the ability of POCT to decrease inpatient and outpatient waiting times for cardiovascular procedures. Methods: We prospectively studied, over a 7-month period, 216 patients requiring diagnostic laboratory testing for coagulation (prothrombin time/activated partial thromboplastin time) and/or renal function (urea nitrogen, creatinine, sodium, and potassium) before elective invasive cardiac and radiologic procedures. Overall patient management and workflow were examined in the initial phase. In phase 2, we implemented POCT but utilized central laboratory results for patient management. In phase 3, therapeutic decisions were based on POCT results. The final phase, phase 4, sought to optimize workflow around the availability of POCT. Patient wait and timing of phlebotomy, availability of laboratory results, and therapeutic action were monitored. Split sampling allowed comparability of POCT and central laboratory results throughout the study. Results: In phase 1, 44% of central laboratory results were not available before the scheduled time for procedure (n = 135). Mean waiting times (arrival to procedure) were 188 ± 54 min for patients who needed renal testing (phase 2; n = 14) and 171 ± 76 min for those needing coagulation testing (n = 24). For patients needing renal testing, POCT decreased patient wait times (phases 3 and 4 combined, 141 ± 52 min; n = 18; P = 0.02). For patients needing coagulation testing, wait times improved only when systematic changes were made in workflow (phase 4, 109 ± 41 min; n = 12; P = 0.01). Conclusions: Although POCT has the potential to provide beneficial patient outcomes, merely moving testing from a central laboratory to the medical unit does not guarantee improved outcomes. Systematic changes in patient management may be required. (C) 2000 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Apr 28 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical