Changing Diagnostic Paradigms for Microbiology, May 2017

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Near-patient and point-of-care (POC) testing for infectious disease diagnostics is rapidly evolving. The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium in October 2016 to explore the impact of near-patient and POC tests on patient outcomes, healthcare delivery models, public health, and healthcare costs. This report reviews characteristics and applications of near-patient and POC tests for infectious diseases, provides an overview of considerations pertaining to their implementation, oversight, and evaluation, and provides recommendations. As near-patient and POC testing is increasingly implemented in new settings and by non-laboratorians, clinical microbiology laboratory expertise is needed to ensure proper oversight. Utilization of trained personnel and evaluation of tests will ensure that the best-quality tests are ordered and interpreted correctly to benefit patient care.

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