Point-of-Care Testing

Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) is defined as medical diagnostic testing performed outside the clinical laboratory and in close proximity to the patient. POCT is typically performed by non-laboratory personnel and the results are used for immediate clinical decision making in support of improved patient care. POCT at Providence Health Care (PHC) varies from manual methodologies to automated analyzers and ranges in size from “hand held” to “cart top”. Their portability, rapid testing and simplicity makes them ideal for bedside testing.

Point-of-Care Policy and Procedures

In accordance with Accreditation Canada and Diagnostic Accreditation Program (DAP) regulatory standards, POCT performed by VCH and PHC employees and medical staff with privileges is considered laboratory testing.

Specific POCT standards and requirements are defined, including but not limited to, equipment and supplies management, documentation of ordering and testing, compliance with testing procedures, quality control and quality assurance, reporting of results and critical values, external proficiency testing, training and ongoing competency assessment for users.

Each POCT performing area is audited for compliance with personnel certification of competency and relevant policies and procedures. Any nonconformities identified will be investigated to identify root cause and remedial actions are taken and documented. Repeated nonconformities may lead to suspension of testing privileges until appropriate actions are taken to ensure consistent compliance.

For more detail information, please visit: VCH-PHC Regional Point of Care Policy.

Request form for new point-of-care test and/or device

All POCT must be approved by the multidisciplinary joint VCH-PHC Point-of-Care Committee, who maintains oversight of all POCT within Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) and Providence Health Care (PHC). The multidisciplinary committee is compromised of laboratory staff, nursing, medical staff, purchasing, quality, and IT personnel.

Clinical areas who wish to initiate POC testing or existing clinical areas who wish to request new POC test and/or device must complete the request form linked below and submit to the committee. The committee will review and evaluate the request based on medical need, evidence-based anticipated improvement in patient outcome, complexity in testing procedure, appropriate Health Canada approval, and more. If a new test and/or device is requested, the VCH or PHC clinical laboratories will assist in the selection, evaluation and validation of test kit or device in collaboration with the clinical area. No clinical area may perform POCT or expand the POC test menu without approval from the committee.

New POCT Request Form: VCH-PHC Regional POCT Request Form

New POCT Agreement Form: VCH-PHC Regional POCT Agreement Form

List of Point-of-Care Tests

POCT are available in approved inpatient units and outpatient clinics.

  • Glucose and HbA1c monitoring
  • Blood gases and metabolites
  • Hemoglobin and Oximetry
  • Hemostasis and Coagulation
  • Transfusion
  • Routine urinalysis
  • Pregnancy and intrapartum fetal health screening
  • Urine toxicology screening

Contact Information

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. For immediate assistance, please call 604-682-2344 Ext. 62525 or email phclabpoc@providencehealth.bc.ca.

Sheri Young
PHC Point-of-Care & Quality Assurance
Technical Coordinator
T: 604-682-2344 Ext: 63006
F: 604-806-9681
Dr. Angela Fung
Clinical Chemist
PHC POC Chemistry Lead
T: 604-806-8194
F: 604-806-9681
Dr. Rodrigo Onell
PHC POC Hematology & Transfusion Lead
T: 604-806-8023
F: 604-806-8815
Dr. Andre Mattman
Medical Biochemist
PHC POC Regional Lead
T: 604-806-8190
F: 604-806-9681