Point of Care Test (POCT)

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Definition - What does Point of Care Test (POCT) mean?

The Point of Care Test (POCT) is a portable drug test that is performed at or near the point of care or i.e. the medical setting where the patient is at, rather than in a laboratory. The screen result may give a reflection of the actual result that can be conveyed by a lab-based drug test. In case the result of the POCT screen is positive it is then sent to the lab for confirmatory testing methods like gas chromatography-mass spectrometry that have a higher specificity.

The rise in the demand and the popularity of POCT has been quite steady especially since it produces rapid results making it quite convenient and time-saving since results are received almost immediately. It is also preferred since it is a much cheaper alternative as compared to GS/MS.

POCT is also known as bedside testing, instant drug test, point of collection test, or an express test.

SureHire explains Point of Care Test (POCT)

Point of care tests is usually carried out using test devices that are easily usable. For example, membrane-based strips are often enclosed in a plastic testing cassette. Most of them can detect up to twelve different drugs in the system. Only a small amount of sample urine is required to perform a reliable test and the results can be interpreted in a matter of minutes by a trained individual.

When a POCT test is It is carried out in a workplace setting, it is then referred to as the point of collection test. It is performed to provide employers with a quick picture of whether or not their employees are using illicit substances. Since the results can be received almost immediately with some of these tests, employees can get back to their normal working routine quickly. This saves the productivity of the organization. However, should a positive result be returned, it should be confirmed via a more detailed gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test.

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