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“POCT benefits patients and cuts costs”

On-site pathology testing is allowing remote Australians to receive effective emergency medical treatment, while saving millions, according to researchers.

In a study funded by the Emergency Medicine Foundation Australasia, a research team assessed both the medical and cost benefits of using point-of-care testing (POCT) for acute medical care in six remote health clinics in the Northern Territory over a six-month period.

It is one of the first projects in the world to quantitatively evaluate the clinical and economic benefits of POCT in a remote setting, according to the team.

Project Coordinator Brooke Spaeth said: “Up to now, we had very little hard research data to support the cost benefits of using POCT, it was mostly anecdotal.

“We now have proof that the technology improved the clinical and operational outcomes for acutely ill patients in remote communities in the Northern Territory.”

It reduced the need for medical evacuations by up to 35% in the clinical conditions investigated, which led to “significant cost savings”.

The research team evaluated the use of POCT for 200 patients suffering from acute chest pain, acute diarrhoea or acute renal failure.

Image credit | Shutterstock 

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