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Point of Care Testing

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) defines point-of-care testing as:

“Testing of samples taken from a patient and performed at or near the bedside with the result leading to possible changes in the care of that individual is defined as point-of-care testing (POCT).”

The College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO) exists for the protection of the public’s right to safe, high-quality health care through self-regulation of the medical laboratory technology profession. We do this by working with a variety of health care regulatory bodies in Ontario to ensure the programs and services offered by Ontario’s medical laboratories provide the highest standard of care. The CMLTO believes legislation is required to ensure a regulated environment in which point-of-care testing is safe, effective and economical.

As point-of-care testing (POCT) is not always performed by regulated health professionals, the CMLTO created a POCT position statement.

The MOHLTC POCT policy and guideline are available here. The policy applies to hospitals with a licensed laboratory, hospitals without a licensed laboratory and long-term care homes. Through its mandatory inspections of licensed laboratories, the Ontario Lab Accreditation program administered by Quality Management Program – Laboratory Services holds these facilities responsible for the quality of laboratory results generated to support patient care.