The goals of needs assessment are to assess future point-of-care (POC) designs, to define instrument characteristics, and to specify test clusters, here focused on emergency and disaster care.
We developed a survey tool based on disaster medicine expert feedback, the Warfare Analysis Laboratory Exercise, and multidisciplinary consultation. The survey uses multiple-choice questions, visual logistics, ranking questions, and trade-off responses and was administered to the readership of the Point of Care journal by mail and with online access through a Web-based platform.
Fifty percent of 200 readers contacted responded. Of these 100, 76 were located in the United States and 24 outside. In disaster settings, survey respondents prefer handheld (P < 0.001, n = 94) test cassette-based (P < 0.001, ndisaster = 88) devices with direct sample collection (P < 0.01, ndisaster = 84). In an urgent care setting, respondents prefer handheld (P < 0.001, n = 93) Vacutainer-based (P < 0.05, nurgent care = 87) devices with coupled-direct sample collection (P < 0.05, nurgent care = 84). Identifying gaps in clinical diagnostics allowed us to define critical device design criteria. Results indicate that future development of POC devices should focus on incorporating unique design elements important to, and useful in, emergency and disaster settings.