Are Bedside Medical Tests Safe?

Some test results that once required the expertise of a lab to determine, and the patience of a saint to wait for, are now promptly available at a patient’s bedside. In some cases, that is good news for the patient.

However, as with many medical advantages, the opportunity for negligent mistakes and medical malpractice complications exists. Last month, a special issue of Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology was devoted to patient safety and avoiding medical errors.

While the articles, editorials and other submissions addressed a wide arrange of issues, much of the content suggested that systemic approaches to patient safety (such as patient identification and system alerts) and operator training are critical to the successful implementation of point of care testing.

Have you ever had point of care testing? Were you confident in the test results or concerned that a mistake had been made? Please leave a comment and let us know.