Poc programs: A brief survey on critical value thresholds, instrumentation, repeat testing, and training documentation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Am J Clin Pathol


Introduction/Objective: Across the United States, Point of Care (POC) programs oversee glucometer testing and are often expected to enforce thresholds for critical values, as well as provide guidance on repeat testing. Additionally, POC must track training and ongoing competency assessments of glucometer operators. Our aim was to survey POC across North America to capture the current state of variation in these POC functions, and identify opportunities for standardization. Methods/Case Report: In July of 2021, an online survey was created on www.surveymonkey.com and distributed via the POC listserv of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). The survey listed nine questions regarding instrumentation, threshold levels for critical-high and critical-low, policies on repeat testing, and practices around documentation and record retention. Results (if a Case Study enter NA): Of the 63 responses received, almost all (95.2%, n=60) indicated that their institution defines glucometer critical value thresholds. Of these, the most common threshold for critical-high was 400 mg/dL (44.4%, n=28) and for critical-low was 50 mg/dL (39.7%, n=25). A majority (55.5%, n=35) of programs require repeat testing of results that exceeded critical limits. The most popular POC result management software (50.8%, n=32) was RALS (Abbott Diagnostics, Chicago, IL) and the most popular glucometer (56%, n=23) was Roche Accu- Chek Inform II (Roche Diagnostics, Basel, Switzerland). Regarding institutions that disclosed training and competency documentation practices (93.7%, n=59), a majority (57.6%, n=34) used online-only storage, followed by hybrid online- paper storage (32.2%, n=19), and paper-only storage (10.2%, n=6). Conclusion: Our brief survey has uncovered variations and insights that should raise queries on the feasibility of standardized critical value thresholds, as well as uniform recommendations for retesting critical values. We observed widespread adoption of middleware, as well as online record-keeping. We hope that our findings will trigger further discussions and follow-up studies by other researchers in the POC field.

PubMed ID

Not assigned.





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