RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has conducted an explorative study on the use of point-of-care (POC) tests in nursing homes. The study shows that many quality and safety aspects related to the use of POC tests are managed well in most of the nursing homes. This includes aspects such as hygienic measures, patient identification, maintenance of POC test meters and the handling of samples. Yet, for some other aspects, more attention is needed.
Many nursing homes use POC tests for fast diagnoses or monitoring of treatments. A well-known example is the blood glucose meter, which can measure the blood sugar levels of a diabetic patient. In order to enable accurate diagnosis or treatment monitoring, the correct use of the tests is important.
In order to guarantee the correct use of POC tests in nursing homes, RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment provides recommendations. It is important to organise periodic training and refresher courses. Also, to have protocols or manuals available for the use of POC tests and to implement quality control measures for test materials. In addition, RIVM recommends that a designated employee bears final responsibility for the correct use of POC tests.