What is Point of Care Testing?

Point of Care Testing (POCT) is medical/diagnostic testing that happens right where the patient is.  As opposed to traditional laboratory testing, POCT generally happens at the bedside.  Wikipedia says:

Point-of-care tests are simple medical tests that can be performed at the bedside. In many cases the simplicity was not achievable until technology developed not only to make a test possible at all but then also to mask its complexity.

These simple tests have been around for years, but there is constant innovation and sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all that’s happening.

If You’re New to Point of Care Testing

There are many resources for POCT professionals.  Here’s the top three I’ve found over the past few years:


AACC is the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.  They are a huge organization and have countless online resources, educational events, webinars and an annual meeting that brings professionals together from around the globe.  They have their own POC division.  This year, they’re having a POCT boot-camp and you can find more here.


This website is free from influence from vendors.  It’s sole purpose is to provide information to point of care professionals.  It’s a fantastic resource for learning about webinars and trade shows, particularly the regional POCT meetings and trade shows.

POC listserv

I usually run for the hills when I hear the words “list serve,” but this group is actually very helpful.  Their member base is constantly posting questions and answers to real issues that are happening in the field today.