WONCA Special Interest Group on Point-of-Care Testing survey update

During 2014, the WONCA Special Interest Group on Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) launched an online survey. The purpose of the survey is to obtain a wide understanding of the clinical use, availability, needs, advantages, and limitations or barriers to the implementation of point-of-care testing (POCT) across all WONCA regions of the world.

The survey is open for responses from WONCA Family Doctors and their health professional colleagues:
  Go to survey
Preliminary results (as of 28 November 2014):
• 101 responses have been received representing 6 of 7 WONCA regions, with over half of respondents from Europe.
• The most common POC tests used in respondents’ practices are glucose, urinalysis, pregnancy, haemoglobin and lipids.
• When asked which POC tests respondents would like to have available for their use, 70% said that they would like to have HbA1c testing available by POC, followed by cardiac markers, full blood count and INR.
• The most commonly reported attributes of POCT were rapid diagnosis and/or treatment, convenience for the patient, ease of use and improved doctor-patient relationship (see Figure 1).
• 97% of respondents reported one or more barriers to the implementation of POCT. The three most commonly reported barriers related to the cost of POCT, lack of Government reimbursement and staffing issues.
• Just over half of respondents perform quality testing to support POCT in their practices.
• Regarding government regulations and support, only a quarter of respondents stated that their country had standards or guidelines for the conduct of POCT, had access to quality assurance programs, and had an accreditation framework for POCT.

Figure 1. Results from 101 respondents when asked ‘What are the most valuable attributes of POCT in your practice?’.

We encourage you to complete the survey yourselves and disseminate the link to your colleagues so that we can get as wide a response as possible to continue to inform our SIG on priorities for education and research. Survey link

Read more news from the WONCA SIG on POCT
Mark Shephard (convenor)