Point of Care (POCT) vs Laboratory Testing

The healthcare industry has made strides in providing fast, easy-to-use, and accurate healthcare testing to patients. We now have healthcare testing in different types of facilities, from large hospital laboratories to small outpatient centers and even beside the patient! This innovation has helped push healthcare testing to new heights, but this also signifies a crossroad for the industry.
Deciding on what type of healthcare testing your facility should use? Here are some of the factors you need to know about about. 

What’s the Difference Between the POCT and Lab Testing?
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT), also known as near-patient resting, allows medical staff to get accurate, real-time, and lab-quality diagnostic results within minutes. POCT streamlines the diagnostics process using portable analyzers assuring that patients receive effective and efficient care when and where it is needed.
Laboratory Testing is performed in hospital laboratories or any independent reference laboratories. These places can test a high volume of samples in one shift. Laboratory tests provide precise and reliable information about specific health problems, while other tests provide general information that helps doctors identify or rule out specific health problems.

POCT vs Laboratory Testing: Speed
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) can be done rapidly beside the patient’s bed and can produce results within minutes.
Laboratory Testing can have results that can vary depending on the outcome and the quantity of the tests being done. Some tests may take up to 24 hours or longer before being released to your attending physician.
Winner: Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)

POCT vs Laboratory Testing: Accuracy
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) is shown to have more frequent errors when running tests based on the available technology used in the device than testing done in the laboratory.
Laboratory Testing is held to a very high state and federal regulatory standard. Tests conducted within a laboratory meet scientifically rigorous criteria before they can be used in clinical practice.
Winner: Laboratory Testing

POCT vs Laboratory Testing: Quantity
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) allows for at least one sample at a time, depending on the device used. POCT is perfect for near-patient use since physicians can readily get samples from patients and get results faster.
Laboratory Testing allows for a large number of samples to be tested at once, but more time will be used, depending on the test.
Winner: Tie

The difference between Point-of-Care Testing and Laboratory Testing may lie in factors like use, functionality, quantity, urgency, and even the types of tests you need.