Point of Care Testing (POCT) is defined as medical diagnostic testing at or near the point of care (i.e. at the time and place of patient care). 

This method of testing contrasts with the historical pattern of laboratory based testing, which is often much slower and less cost effective.

The aspects of timeliness in particular may have a big impact on the patient, where there is the potential for unnecessary delays in receiving results.

the video below illustrates the variation in testing across Scotland and how this inequality can impact the patient.

95% of all clinical pathways rely on having access to efficient, timely and cost effective pathology services.

Across NHS Scotland, Point of Care testing kits are either developed locally or resourced from a range of diagnostic companies. These tests are then performed at the point of care either in a practice or hospital setting

Currently there is no available information at a national level to help determine what tests are most effective, which companies the NHS procure from, how much is spent on kits and what gaps there are in the market that would benefit from new diagnostics kits.

Data has shown that 40% of tests ordered are not necessary.

The information within these paged has been produced by NUMBERTELLING as a blueprint of possibilities.

The POCT X NUMBERTELLING project involved analysing a selection of available data to provide a starting point to explore POCT variation across Scotland.

This information has been visualised in a series of interactive dashboards to begin to answer the questions above. These dashboards can be accessed by using the menu on the top left of this page. Each dashboard is situated on its own page with a description of the content and instructions of use.

The power of information can help us to understand issues and trends and improve our services.