1 x 2-hour seminar per semester
8 x 2-hour workshops per semester
1 x 8-hour independent study weekly
2 x .5-hour on-line exercises weekly
1 x 1-hour on-line lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour project work per semester
1 of MMED2931, MMED1005
Assumed knowledge
Knowledge of physiology and biochemistry.
Assignments; Examination (50%)
Topic description

This topic will provide a basic introduction to the theory and practice of point-of-care pathology testing (POCT) which is now used by a wide range of health professionals. It will describe analytical, physiological, clinical, and technological aspects of POCT devices and illustrate the broad range of devices that are currently available in Australia to perform POCT. The principles of how to choose a POCT device, which is fit for purpose, and how to establish and manage a POCT service will also be covered. The evidence base for the effectiveness of POCT for the prevention and management of chronic, acute and infectious disease will be discussed. Case studies illustrating working POCT models in Australia and clinical case studies will be given, particularly focussing in rural community settings. Students will gain hands-on experience in operating devices.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Introduce students to the concept of POCT
  • Illustrate to students the diversity of applications for POCT and the broad range of devices available for use in both hospital and community-based health care settings in Australia
  • Introduce students to the principles for establishing and maintaining a POCT service, particularly in relation to the management of analytical quality
  • Provide students with an understanding of the current evidence base for the effectiveness of POCT
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate working knowledge of the range of POCT devices available in Australia
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the scope of POCT applications in both hospital and community-based health care settings and in acute and chronic disease states
  3. Demonstrate practical knowledge of how to scientifically evaluate a POCT device, particularly in relation to analytical quality
  4. Demonstrate working knowledge of some successful applications of community-based POCT models in Australia
  5. Discuss the role that the medical scientist can have as a POCT Coordinator, supporting POCT services in both the hospital and community-based health care settings at local, statewide, national and international levels