Doctors' perceptions of the impact of upfront point-of-care testing in the emergency department

Lara Nicole Goldstein, Mike Wells, Craig Vincent-Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Special investigations (e.g. blood tests, electrocardiograms, x-rays) play an integral role in patient management in the emergency department (ED). Having results immediately available prior to assessing a patient may lead to improved efficiency. This could be instituted by utilizing point-of-care (POC) testing with an alternative ED workflow, but the implementation would be dependent on acceptance by the end-users. The aim of this study was to assess doctors' perceptions of POC testing in the ED when the normal treatment pathway was modified to use upfront POC tests performed prior to doctor evaluation in an effort to decrease treatment times. Methods A prospective, randomized, controlled trial was performed in the ED where medical patients received either the normal ED workflow pathway or one of the enhanced workflow pathways with POC tests in various combinations prior to doctor evaluation. At the end of the study period, doctors were invited to participate in an anonymous survey to gauge their opinions on the implementation of the early POC testing. Results Overall, the doctors surveyed were very satisfied with use of upfront POC in the ED. One hundred per cent of the 28 doctors surveyed found it helpful to assess patients who already had test results available and would want it to be permanently available. Normalized satisfaction scores were more favorable for combinations of 3 or more tests (0.7-1.0) as opposed to combinations with 2 or less tests (0.3-0.7). There was a preference for combinations that included comprehensive blood results. Conclusion The implementation of workflow changes to assist doctors in the ED can potentially make them more productive. End-user buy-in is essential in order for the change to be successful. Upfront, protocolised, POC testing is a low-input, high-yield intervention that decreased treatment time and satisfied doctors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208655
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Multidisciplinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Doctors' perceptions of the impact of upfront point-of-care testing in the emergency department'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this