Point of Care Testing
When you need a result then and there

General Information

Point of care testing (POCT) and provider performed microscopy (PPM) is available in approved inpatient units and outpatient clinics in order to provide rapid test results in support of patient care. All POCT/PPM must be approved by the UCSF Point of Care Committee, which maintains oversight of all POCT/PPM within the UCSF system.  Each POCT/PPM site is audited monthly for compliance with relevant policies and procedures.  Sites found to be repeatedly out of compliance may have their privileges suspended until appropriate steps are taken to insure consistent compliance.

Point of Care Testing Policies/Procedures

A list of POCT/PPM policies and procedures can be found by clicking the title above (requires secure connection and compatible browser).

Applying for POCT Privileges

New sites that wish to perform POCT or requests for new POCT from existing sites must be made in writing to the UCSF Point of Care Committee. The committee will evaluate the request and determine if the request will be approved. If testing involves a new analyte, the UCSF Clinical Laboratories will assist in the evaluation of available test methods and in the validation of any test kit or device that is selected. No site may initiate POCT or expand their menu of tests without approval of the committee.

Who Can Perform Testing

Only inpatient units and outpatient clinics that have obtained approval from the UCSF Point of Care Committee can perform testing.

In the inpatient setting, only licensed individuals who have been properly trained and demonstrated competency may perform POCT. Physicians may perform POCT utilizing visual endpoint tests without formal competency assessment, provided that each test is covered as part of the physician’s medical staff privileges. Physicians must demonstrate annual competency for any test using a testing device.

In the outpatient clinics, non-licensed personnel may perform POCT classified as waived by the FDA provided they have received training and demonstrated annual competency for each test they perform. Non-licensed personnel may not perform non-waived testing.

Provider Performed Microscopic Procedures (PPMP; KOH preps, Wet mounts, Fern testing, Urine sediment exam, Pinworm exam) require that each provider complete a PPMP Competency checklist annually and turn it in to the Medical Staff Office (MSO). After an initial competency assessment, each provider must re-take and pass the competency assessment at 6 months and annually thereafter. Further, after demonstrating initial competency, each provider must apply for privileges in PPMP from the UCSF Credentials Committee.

Proficiency Testing

Each location performing POCT classified by the FDA as "moderately complex" must successfully participate in proficiency testing (PT) for each such test. Sites that demonstrate unsuccessful PT performance may lose authorization to perform the test until they demonstrate successful remediation.

Provider Performed Microscopy (PPM)

For additional information, please see our pages on Provider Performed Microscopy.