Point of Care TestingDelivering Clinical OutcomesPrice, Christopher P. PhDAuthor Information From Bayer Diagnostics, Berkshire, UK. Reprints: Christopher Price, PhD, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology: September 2003 - Volume 2 - Issue 3 - p 151-157 Buy Abstract Point-of-care testing describes any test undertaken close to the patient in a situation where an immediate decision is going to be made in relation to the reason for which the test was indicated. This may include self-testing by the patient or by a health care professional. The test result may be used to `rule in' or `rule out' a diagnosis, or to guide the therapeutic intervention. The clinical outcomes sought from such an intervention include improved morbidity and mortality, improvement in ability, and patient satisfaction. Point-of-care testing is increasing in prominence as changes in the delivery of health care changes toward faster decision making as well devolution of care away from the secondary and tertiary, toward the primary care environment. Data now exists to show that point-of-care testing can assist in rapid decision making in a number of scenarios with improved clinical outcomes. The most common use is in chronic-disease management (eg, diabetes mellitus, heart failure, and coagulopathy status); the major benefit is likely to be through improved compliance with therapy. Faster decision making and therefore faster intervention is also achieved in the emergency room, in the operating room, and in the intensive care unit. In the future more point-of-care will be done in the primary care setting with testing to assist in `rule out' of suspected conditions, as well as in the management of chronic diseases. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.