Development of an accreditation program for Point of Care Testing (PoCT) in general practice

Rosy Tirimacco, Briony Glastonbury, Caroline O. Laurence, Tanya K. Bubner, Mark D. Shephard, Justin J. Beilby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To describe the development and evaluation of an accreditation program for Point of Care Testing (PoCT) in general practice, which was part of the PoCT in general practice (GP) Trial conducted in 200507 and funded by the Australian Government. Setting and participants. Thirty general practices based in urban, rural and remote locations across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, which were in the intervention arm of the PoCT Trial were part of the accreditation program. A PoCT accreditation working party was established to develop an appropriate accreditation program for PoCT in GP. A multidisciplinary accreditation team was formed consisting of a medical scientist, a general practitioner or practice manager, and a trial team representative. Methodology and sequence of events. To enable practices to prepare for accreditation a checklist was developed describing details of the accreditation visit. A guide for surveyors was also developed to assist with accreditation visits. Descriptive analysis of the results of the accreditation process was undertaken. Outcomes. Evaluation of the accreditation model found that both the surveyors and practice staff found the process straightforward and clear. All practices (i.e. 100%) achieved second-round accreditation. Discussion and lessons learned. The accreditation process highlighted the importance of ongoing education and support for practices performing PoCT. What is known about the topic? Currently there is no rebate for Point of Care testing in Australia. Before the Australian Government can consider a rebate it has to be shown that PoCT is safe for patient care. Implementation of a quality framework and an accreditation model for PoCT is vital to ensure that clinical care is not compromised by use of this technology. What does this paper add? This paper provides a model for PoCT accreditation that meets requirements of both the GP and scientific community. It reports on the first government-funded PoCT in general practice trial and illustrates what needs to be considered if the Government decides to fund PoCT in general practice. What are the implications for practitioners? Description of a PoCT accreditation process highlights to practitioners what is entailed in following the interim standards for PoCT currently available. This study is an important piece of work as it shows that PoCT in general practice can be performed safely within a quality framework that meets scientific accreditation requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of an accreditation program for Point of Care Testing (PoCT) in general practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this