As health care becomes more consumer-driven, practices are seeking more convenient and accurate diagnosis options to meet their patients' expectations. Reports and Data states that the estimated 71 million millennials (ages 20–35) are driving the need for immediate and reliable results. By providing accurate and real-time test results, point-of-care testing (POCT) can deliver vital operational benefits including improved patient outcomes and opportunities for practice cost savings.
With 70% of medical decisions based on laboratory test results, according to Abbott, the accuracy of those test results has a critical impact on patient health. The technology powering POCT gives the clinician the ability to not only draw patient samples in the office, but also receive the results in the office, which can help accelerate the development of an informed treatment plan.
Traditional medical testing can take weeks to render diagnostic results. Consequently, some clinicians prescribe medication and courses of treatment based on symptoms alone, with the goal of providing their patients immediate relief. This practice puts patients at risk of taking unnecessary medication, which can contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organization has identified antibiotic resistance as "one of the biggest threats to global health...today."
In addition to the risk of misdiagnosis, clinicians can unintentionally spike their patient's health care costs with additional prescriptions and clinician visits. The World Health Organization explains that when infections aren't cured with first-line antibiotics, more expensive medications may need to be used, increasing both the number of appointments and expense for the patient. When you have to re-treat a patient throughout several appointments, your operational efficiency drops and the patient's health care spend increases. Even worse, a longer duration of infection could lead to hospitalization.
POCT's improved efficiency and productivity may also keep symptoms and conditions from escalating in both severity and duration.
Lab Tests Online notes that POCT can reduce follow-up visits or calls, and reports that delivering the routine tests hemoglobin A1c, hemoglobin, and lipids at the point-of-care resulted in:
Armed with POCT's accurate results, clinicians can confidently treat their patients with a plan that may reduce the need for additional testing and limit unnecessary patient follow-up—all of which can increase the efficiency of your practice.
Traditional medical testing may require patients to wait 24 hours to several weeks for a complete diagnosis, and could include the time and cost of specimen packaging and transportation. Medical practices utilizing POCT platforms may be able to deliver results within 5 to 60 minutes, rather than hours or days, according to Abbott. By reducing the wait time for results, you can help generate savings of as much as $260 per patient. Additionally, the reliability and speed behind a POCT diagnosis can decrease time spent per patient—by as much as 46 minutes—allowing clinicians to accept more appointments or tend to other activities.
Not only does POCT ensure speedy results for both the clinician and patient, developing your POCT portfolio is an innovative way to cut costs related to the patient visit. The quick turnaround time can result in total savings between 8% and 20% across the entire patient flow, including laboratory costs, as stated by Abbott.
Leveraging the real-time results from POCT can have an immediate impact on your practice's bottom line.
Given the demand for convenient care options, it is imperative your practice offers accurate and immediate test results. POCT is powered by innovative diagnostic tools that increase your practice's operational efficiency, improve patient outcomes with real-time results, and present opportunities for cost savings. For more information on POCT or to conduct an inventory of your lab, please schedule a consultation with our Point-of-Care team.