Modern systems for point-of-care testing reduce analytical errors
Medical error includes a failure to generate correct test results or a failure to respond appropriately to a test result.
Many pre- and postanalytic errors can be eliminated by ensuring that the correct specimen is collected from the correct patient at the correct time and handled properly before, during and after analysis. Today’s advanced POCT systems largely eliminate errors in the analytical phase and many of the pre- and post-analytical errors are substantially reduced. Connectivity facilitates capture and documentation of the entire POCT process in the patient records, including test results and quality control parameters, billing, and even logging the clinician’s response to test results. According to the authors Ehrmeyer and Laessig (2007) there are however, two errors compromising patient safety that are still unaddressed. A human decision must be made to order the test – the right test at the right time. The test result must also be acted on appropriately with the correct response for the patient.
Ehrmeyer, S. S. and Laessig, R. H., Point-of-care testing, medical error, and patient safety: a 2007 assessment. Clin Chem Lab Med, 2007, 45(6); 766-773