The POCT working group has set itself the goal of evaluating the organisational and analytical-diagnostic challenges of point-of-care testing (POCT) in terms of their impact on the hospital. The rapid technical development of POCT analysis methods is based on advances in nanotechnology, miniaturization and parallelization. This allows more complex analyses to be standardized and offered in POCT format. Examples of such disruptive technologies are nucleic acid-based detection of infectious agents or continuous metabolite monitoring (mostly glucose).
POCT was originally designed in order to be able to draw direct therapeutic consequences from laboratory values in life-threatening emergency situations as quickly as possible. However, the advantages for use in outpatients, e.g. for patients with diabetes mellitus, were quickly recognised and patients became able to monitor themselves within their home care regimen.
The broad application of POCT in hospitals can lead to clinical as well as organizational and economic advantages. However, these advantages can only be exploited if the previously uncoordinated POCT is restructured in an orderly organisation. A POCT coordination centre and rational utilisation of the local clinical laboratory is the best way to meet both the economic and medical requirements. In addition to the central laboratory, POCT can also be used in the interest of optimal patient care. Hence our motto: From opposing views to complementary insights.
The main focus of the WG's activities is on: