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Objective: Increased demands for primary care are forcing clinical offices to deliver cost and time efficient care while providing exceptional patient experiences. Traditional lab testing methods require multiple steps for the patient and provider. Test results are not available until a later time which may delay decision making, patient discussion and medical planning. Point-of-care testing (POCT) provides an alternative that allows the patient to have testing, discuss the results and establish a treatment plan during a single office appointment.

Design: A review of literature examined studies that compare cost-effectiveness, patient satisfaction and efficiency of POCT with traditional laboratory methods in primary care settings. The top 10 laboratory (phlebotomy) tests ordered in a local family medicine clinic were also identified.

Results: POCT methods have a higher per unit cost compared to traditional lab methods. However, POCT was found to reduce the overall cost of care when associated expenses are included such as: transportation, patient time away from work and clinician follow-up on test results. Patient satisfaction was overwhelmingly positive regarding convenience, improved medical compliance and stronger patient-provider relationships. Primary care offices found improved efficiency in both time and cost reviewing lab results.

Conclusion: The literature concluded that primary care offices who implemented the use of POCT found improved costs as well as increased patient satisfaction and office efficiencies.


Physician Assistant Studies

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Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

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Clinical Laboratory Techniques; Patient Satisfaction; Point-of-Care Testing -- economics


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment

Point-of-Care Testing in Primary Care May Reduce Overall Cost and Improve Both Patient Satisfaction and Efficiency