The benefits and challenges of point-of-care testing in rural and remote primary care settings in Australia

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    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Context.-Point-of-care (POC) testing has significant potential application in rural and remote Australian communities where access to laboratory-based pathology testing is often poor and the burden of chronic, acute, and infectious disease is high. Objective.-To explore the clinical, operational, cultural, and cost benefits of POC testing in the Australian rural and remote health sector and describe some of the current challenges and limitations of this technology. Data Sources.-Evidence-based research from established POC testing networks for chronic, acute, and infectious disease currently managed by the International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing at Flinders University are used to highlight the experience gained and the lessons learned from these networks and, where possible, describe innovative solutions to address the current barriers to the uptake of POC testing, which include governance, staff turnover, maintaining training and competency, connectivity, quality testing, sustainable funding mechanisms, and accreditation. Conclusions.-Point-of-care testing can provide practical and inventive opportunities to revolutionize the delivery of pathology services in rural and remote sectors where clinical need for this technology is greatest. However, many barriers to POC testing still exist in these settings, and the full potential of POC testing cannot be realized until these limitations are addressed and resolved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1372-1380
    Number of pages9
    JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


    • Primary Health Care
    • Point-of-Care Testing
    • Remote Australia
    • Rural Australia


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