Donald Klepser, Ph.D., MBA - Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy - and Michael Klepser, Pharm.D. - Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Ferris State University College of Pharmacy - talk to us about the role of point-of-care testing in disease state management and to achieve public health goals.
- Point-of-care tests (POCT) can be performed in non-laboratory settings, such as the patient's home or in a community pharmacy, and provide clinical data to make treatment decisions.
- The sooner test results can be made available, the sooner treatment can be initiated. This is particularly important for many infectious diseases because the outcome is closely tied to how rapidly the treatment is started.
- When deployed in community-based pharmacies and clinics, POCTs help increase access to care, particularly in rural and underserved areas.
- POCT can be used to test for influenza, SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19), Streptococcal pharyngitis (aka strep throat), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other sexually transmitted infections as well as monitor serum lipids, serum electrolytes, and renal function.
- Under a collaborative practice agreement (CPA), community pharmacists can use the results of POCT to quickly initiate treatment or adjust the doses of medications.
- POCT empower pharmacists to provide a range of health-related services.
- Student pharmacists can play a critical role in building our capacity to deploy POCT and provide disease management services in new locations.
- Key opportunities for the future:
- PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent HIV
- Hepatitis C infection
- Sexually transmitted infections panel
- Lead exposure