No one succeeds in point-of-care testing (POCT) by working alone. That’s the key takeaway of Point-of-Care Testing Boot Camp and Beyond: Communicating, Connecting and Collaborating, a one-day, interactive program taking place on December 7 in Baltimore.

“The beauty of the world of POCT is it brings together the laboratory, nursing, respiratory, perfusion, information technology, materials management, and many other areas in the hospital or outpatient setting in a way that is very unique,” Kim Skala, MT (ASCP), a clinical specialist for critical care and POC at Instrumentation Laboratory in Bedford, Massachusetts, and one of the boot camp’s speakers and organizers, told CLN StatSuccessful POCT programs depend on all of these specialists to develop good relationships with one another, Skala said. “These relationships require good communication, collaborations, and partnerships to ensure the highest quality POCT results for patients,” she said.

AACC’s first boot camp aims to help build relationships and support within the POCT community. Some might be new to the lab director or POC coordinator role, or have recently assumed responsibility for overseeing POCT in a respiratory department, for example, without any formal training. Even for seasoned POCT experts, the boot camp offers some fresh perspectives, Skala said. “Much of the benefit of having a program like this is the interaction during and between sessions and having these presenters as resources for questions later,” she said.

Skala joins a distinguished group of speakers at this interactive conference:

William Clarke, PhD, associate professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore;
Kerstin Halverson, MS, clinical applications representative for critical care at Instrumentation Laboratory, Bedford, Massachusetts (formerly POC coordinator at Children’s Hospitals & Clinics, Minneapolis);
Peggy Mann, MS, MT (ASCP), ambulatory POCC/program manager at University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas;
Jeanne Mumford, MT (ASCP), pathology manager, POCT at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore; and

Lou Ann Wyer, MT (ASCP), CQA(ASQ), director of laboratory services at Sentara Healthcare, Norfolk, Virginia.

Four sessions will cover POCT boot camp basics:

● People, Presentations, and Messages: Bringing Them All Together offers insights on important communication skills and some practical approaches to team leadership. Although they communicate with many other areas of the hospital in the POCT arena, laboratorians often have no formal training in communication.

● Case Studies of Effective Communication Tools helps the audience apply the tools discussed in the first session through actual cases studies.

● Establishing a Cadence with Non-laboratorians Through Competency, Policies and Procedures covers innovative training and competency assessment methods and coaching techniques. Participants will also learn how to write policies and procedures for nonlaboratorians in ways to make them easy to understand.

● Utilizing Connectivity and Quality to Keep your POC Program a Well-oiled Machine. Connectivity is key to managing POCT successfully, but it’s not always easy to navigate. This session helps the audience navigate the maze, explaining how performance improvement indicators and data can help to ensure regulatory compliance while improving quality and patient outcomes.

Ideas for the sessions arose from a survey the boot camp organizers conducted, Halverson explained to CLN Stat. “We polled participants on AACC’s POCT listserv and in POCT groups across the country to glean what topics in POCT that were of most interest to them,” she said.

Organizers used the eight courses from AACC’s Point of Care Specialist certificate program to create questions. They came up with communication, training and competency, connectivity and regulations, and quality as the four main points of interest. “We hope to provide the attendees with information, tips, tricks, education on each subject and to give them more insight into each area,” Halverson said.

POC coordinators, nurses, physicians, physician assistants, and anyone else involved in POC will find plenty of timely and relevant content in the boot camp. Attendees should come with a list of challenges and work through each session in search of resolutions and ideas, Mumford told CLN Stat. “This is for anyone in physician offices or who work in hospitals, large or small,” she said.

Mumford said she can’t wait for attendees to engage in each session and share their successes and challenges from their own programs. She anticipates that “the knowledge and kinship that will come out of this boot camp will serve the attendees long after December 7.”

Register to earn 6 ACCENT credits and gain new insights on being part of an effective POC team.