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Bedside (Point-of-Care) Testing in Hospitals: The Joint Commission International Perspective

Pasternak, Derick P. MD, MBA, FACPE

Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology: December 2008 - Volume 7 - Issue 4 - p 233-238
doi: 10.1097/POC.0b013e3181885f64
Original Articles

Bedside testing in hospitals and point-of-care testing in ambulatory settings are pervasive in health care throughout the world. These tests represent variable levels of risk to patients by virtue of the possibility of false-positive or false-negative results. These risks are amplified if the staff performing the tests are not properly trained or supervised in the performance of the testing or of quality control. Joint Commission International, which offers standard-based accreditation to hospitals throughout the world that volunteer for the process, recognizes these risks. Joint Commission International standards address the risks involved by dealing with issues of patient assessment, care planning, quality management, governance and leadership, medical equipment management, human resource management, and the International Patient Safety Goals. Currently, these standards are primarily in the accreditation standards for hospitals, but the edition of ambulatory care standards currently under preparation will have equal emphasis on these issues. The article enumerates the risks addressed and the standards and International Patient Safety Goals that address them. Included is a brief discussion of the responsibility of the director of clinical laboratories in these processes.

From the Joint Commission International, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Excellence in Laboratory Medicine, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, November 2007.

Reprints: Derick P. Pasternak MD, MBA, FACPE, Joint Commission International, P.O. Box 505018, Dubai Healthcare City, Ibn Sina Bldg, B503, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.