Point-of-care testing in UK primary care: A survey to establish clinical needs
Turner PJ., Van den Bruel A., Jones CHD., Plüddemann A., Heneghan C., Thompson MJ., Price CP., Howick J.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Background. A number of point-of-care diagnostic tests are commercially available in the UK, however, not much is known regarding GPs' desire for these tests or the clinical areas of interest. Objective. We sought to establish for which conditions point-of-care tests (POCTs) would be most helpful to UK GPs for diagnosis, reduction of referrals, and monitoring of chronic conditions. Methods. A total of 1635 regionally representative GPs were invited to complete an online cross-sectional survey between 31 September and 16 October 2012. Results. A total of 1109 (68%) GPs responded to the survey. The most frequently cited conditions were urinary tract infections for diagnosis (47% of respondents), pulmonary embolism/deep vein thrombosis for referral reduction (47%) and international normalized ratio/anticoagulation for monitoring (49%). Conclusions. This survey has identified the conditions for which UK GPs would find POCTs most helpful. Comments by respondents suggest that quite radical system-level adjustments will be required to allow primary care clinicians to capitalize on the potential benefits of POCTs.