Evaluation of a program providing operator training, quality assurance, and quality control for point-of-care testing for hepatitis C (HCV) infection.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Background: The National Australian HCV Point-of-Care Testing Program has established point-of-care testing (antibody and RNA) at 53 health services, aiming for 85 sites in Australia. Training and quality frameworks are critical for point-of-care testing scale-up and management. This study evaluated hepatitis C virus (HCV) point-of-care testing training outcomes and test error rates for operators during Program scale-up.

Methods: Standardized training was delivered remotely for Xpert HCV Viral Load Fingerstick point-of-care testing operator training and quality management, In evaluation of training delivered, operators were enrolled in a longitudinal observational study and completed a self-assessed competency survey with utilising a 5-point Likert scales to rank below average point-of-care competence (score ≤2 of 5) and >average point-of-care HCV test competence (score >3). Unsuccessful HCV tests (error/invalid/no result) were assessed by results extraction from the central Program database.

Results: To date 154 point-of-care operators have commenced training, with 142 (92.2%) completing all training aspects. The testing workforce consists of 55% nursing staff, 5% peer workers and 5% aboriginal health professionals, with 23% of operators having previous GeneXpert experience. Standardised operator training increased self-assessed >average competence for processes of specimen collection (67% vs. 100%, P
Conclusion: Standardised point-of-care operator training improved self-assessed GeneXpert competency and facilitated a high rate of valid HCV point-of-care results on first test attempt. The root cause of unsuccessful tests was predominantly related to collection of poor-quality capillary blood samples. These results demonstrate the importance of robust training, compliance with trained processes and ongoing skill acquisition for the delivery of high-quality HCV point-of-care test results.
Period24 Apr 2023
Event titleGlobal Hepatitis Summit 2023: 18th Global Hepatitis Summit (GHS 2023), a 50 years legacy of the International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease (ISVHLD).
Event typeConference
LocationParis, FranceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Hepatitis C
  • point of care testing
  • training
  • quality
  • evaluation