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Point-of-Care Testing Study Summary

Joan Evans j.evans at scienceboard.net
Mon Jan 18 11:07:04 EST 1999

In November 1998, The Science Advisory Board
(http://www.scienceboard.net) completed it's examination of
point-of-care testing (POCT) technology.  The study was based on the
responses of 475 members of our Clinical Panel who participated in a
detailed online survey designed to compare the experiences of those with
"hands-on" experience in the use of the technology (Group 1) with the
perceptions of those who have not (Group 2).  291 respondents (69%)
reported that their facility is using some form of POCT, and 184
respondents (39%) that their facility was not employing any form of

Although not intended to be a statistically significant sampling, the
responses of our Clinical Panel provide great insights into how
different types of organizations/specialties react when confronted by a
discontinuous innovation.  We concluded that the Technology Adoption
Lifecycle was a particularly appropriate model for our analysis.  This
model postulates that when confronted by a discontinuous innovation,
end-users can be segmented into distinct groups according to their
willingness to accept or avoid technological risk.  For proponents of
the innovation, either healthcare administrators or device
manufacturers, this has great implications for developing effective
implementation strategies.

When asked "Which factor was the single most important motivation for
introducing POCT at your facility?" the top five answers for POCT users

Faster Turnaround time: 69%
Improved patient outcomes: 11%
Reduce staffing/labor costs: 7%
Portability/mobility: 5%
Ease-of-use: 2%

The question was re-worded slightly for those without POCT experience.
These respondents were asked what factor would be the primary motivation
to introduce POCT at their facility.  Their top 5 answers:

Improved patient outcomes 36%
Portability/mobility: 26%
Faster Turnaround Time: 11%
Ease-of-use: 7%
Greater testing accuracy: 7%

When asked which Department was "most influential" in the decision to
introduce POCT, Group 1's top three answers were:

Critical/Intensive Care: 28%
Nursing: 15%
Other: 14%*
* "Other" refers to free-text answers, the majority of which cited
"Physicians" or "Medical Staff."

Group 2's perception of which department would be most influential is
somewhat different.  The top three answers:

Central Laboratory Services: 28%
Critical/Intensive Care: 12%
Emergency Services: 11%

Although these two examples show distinct differences between Users and
Non-Users, there were also many similarities between experiences and
perceptions.  Of particular interest, we noted that the concept of POCT
is regarded favorably by both groups, even by Users who expressed
lingering concerns over Quality Control and a lack of integration with
existing HIS/LIS.

A more detailed summary of the study's key findings can be found in the
Members Area of The Science Advisory Board's website
(http://www.scienceboard.net).  Select the link "Past Studies."
Included in this summary are dozens of insightful comments from the

The Science Advisory Board is an online panel of 4,000 biomedical
scientists, physicians and other medical professionals from 64
countries.  If you would like to voice your opinions in future studies,
please complete the Clinical Panel registration form which can be found
at http://www.scienceboard.net and you be notified of your eligibility.
Your identity and individual responses are always held in strict
confidence, and participants are compensated for their time.

Joan Evans
Membership Secretary
The Science Advisory Board

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