About POCT

Point of Care Testing (POCT) references all laboratory tests performed outside the formal walls of the Clinical Laboratory. In other words, with or in close proximity to the patient, client, or guest. Some call this bedside testing or near bedside testing.

POCT has been gaining wide acceptance and recognition throughout healthcare in recent years because of its ability to gain rapid, accurate, and reliable test results that enable healthcare professionals immediate information in which to screen, diagnose, and treat their patients/clients.

POCT is regulated at the federal (CLIA '88) and state levels (CA Health & Safety, Business & Professional Codes). POCT activities on the SFGH campus are performed under the license of the SFGH Clinical Laboratory. Compliance with applicable regulation is verified through accreditation by the Joint Commission. Written Hospital and Clinical Laboratory policies and procedures reflect the expectations by the regulatory and accrediting bodies, and must be followed by all staff involved in POCT. A POCT Committee, with representation from the Clinical Laboratory, Hospital Administration, and the Department of Nursing, oversees POCT at SFGH.

At SFGH, POCT Service incorporates an interdisciplinary team approach. Success is reliant on everyone doing their part. POCT team members include: doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, assistants, scientists, pharmacists, administrative leadership, and a host of support staff.

For further information, please contact the Clinical Laboratory at 415.206.8588.

SFGH Administrative Policy 16.20 – POCT

POCT Quality Management Plan


To provide a dynamic and engaging online presence and resource that will improve, enhance, standardize, and maintain high quality laboratory testing at the Point of Care. We Believe Point of Care Testing Services are integral to San Francisco General Hospital’s mission: “Providing Quality Care and Trauma Services with Compassion and Respect” by furnishing staff with the necessary habiliments to provide the right care, at the right time, and in the right setting.


PEOPLE: Engages and supports staff by offering easy access to POCT policies and procedures, training modules, records and forms, as well as, regulatory requirements and other governing standards. 

SYSTEMS: Provides a stable and authoritative frame work and point of reference for decision making which saves time, streamlines workflows, and frees up resources for patient-centered care.

TECHNOLOGY: Makes smart use of technology to communicate one standard of care and promote effective communication.


Reduces Waste: Eliminates need for physical POCT manuals (website is the new online manual); eliminates need for bulk storage of paper copies of various records and forms; and eliminates time wasted searching for current paperwork and information or waiting for individual assistance.

Standardization: Current and consistent retention of information throughout the institution – uniform message – while improving and maintaining compliance with the regulatory standards of a variety of governing and guiding agencies.

Accessibility: Can be accessed from multiple platforms, such as desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or smart phone – from anywhere.

Systematically Organized: Information is presented in a consistent, logical, and intuitive fashion.

Enhances Communication:  Accessible POCT contact information puts “faces to names”. Developing relationships promotes collegiality, and teamwork. And, the website features an opportunity to “Ask a Question” directly from the website without having to access an email account.

Local and National Leadership: The SFGH POCT Service is setting the precedence for online and web based POCT Services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and, in fact, the rest of the country.