Point-of-care testing workshop at WONCA Asia Pacific regional conference

A workshop titled ‘How to Set Up and Manage Point-of-Care Testing in Your Family Practice’ was presented by Prof Mark Shephard and Lara Motta on behalf of the WONCA Special Interest Group on Global Point-of-Care Testing at the recent WONCA Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Kuching, Malaysia. The workshop aimed to provide participants with an overview of the common key principles that should be applied when establishing and maintaining a point-of-care testing (POCT) service. Working together in small facilitated groups, participants had the opportunity to utilise these learnings to develop a framework for introducing POCT for a specific clinical need relevant to their family practice.

The workshop was attended by 30 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Nigeria. During the group activity, the four groups identified and then discussed the introduction of the following point-of-care tests HbA1c, CD4 count, malaria and light microscopy. Some participants already had good access to pathology testing through the local laboratory but believed that the introduction of POCT would reduce the turnaround time for pathology results which would mean added convenience for the patient and a reduction in the number of visits to the clinic. POCT may also encourage patient motivation and compliance with medication. Other participants who did not have access to good laboratory support felt that the introduction of POCT would give them access to much needed pathology testing to support their clinical judgement and allow them to better manage their patients. A lively discussion was had about the actual definition of POCT and what constitutes a point-of-care test. It was agreed that any test done near the patient with results available during the patient encounter could be considered point-of-care and all agreed that the implementation of POCT must systematically follow key principles rather than just buying a device and beginning to test patients.

During the conference, the SIG exhibited in the WONCA Village, inviting delegates to complete the SIG’s survey on POCT. The booth was well attended over the 3 days and 34 new members joined the SIG during the conference. For more information or to join the SIG, visit the WONCA SIG on Global Point-of-Care Testing. Please click here to access the short survey on POCT.

Professor Mark Shephard (Chair) and Lara Motta (Secretary)
WONCA Special Interest Group on Global Point-of-Care Testing