The current scope of Near Patient testing includes:
Near-patient testing (NPT) aims to improve patient outcomes, shorten test turnaround times and facilitate early decision making through provision of a laboratory medicine service by healthcare professionals using small analytical devices. A NPT device is defined as any device that is not intended for self-testing but is intended to perform testing outside a laboratory environment, generally near to, or at the side of, the patient by a health care professional. Near-patient testing within St James’s Hospital incorporates, 210 devices (7 device types), across three different sites, generating 300,000 sets of results per annum.
When using NPT for clinical diagnostic purposes it is important that testing performed outside a central laboratory is assured of the same quality and standards and does not represent a patient safety risk. The Centre for Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Pathology adheres to Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) standards across all sections. NPT services are accredited to ISO 22870 by INAB for blood gas, glucose testing, INR testing and urine HCG screening. The NPT service aligns all of the devices to ISO 22870 and participates in external quality assurance programmes.
The day-to-day running and management of the NPT service is overseen by a chief medical scientist and the NPT team. The governance of near-patient testing in St James’s Hospital comes under the near-patient testing committee. The clinical governance of the NPT service is overseen by a chemical pathologist, with device specific clinical lead(s) as applicable.
Near-patient testing is not routinely available to GP’s.
Routine testing is available from core laboratories; refer to other departments within Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Pathology for further information