Point-of-care testing in primary care: needs and attitudes of Irish GPs
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review
Aim: To establish Irish GPs’ perception of the benefits and barriers to POCT use.
Design & setting: A quantitative cross-sectional observational survey of Irish GPs attending continuing medical educational meetings (CME) in November 2015.
Method: Data was collected using an anonymous and confidential questionnaire.
Results: Out of a total of 250, 70% of GPs (n = 143) completed the questionnaire. Of these, 92% (n = 132) indicated they would like to have access to POCTs. Guidance in decision making 43% (n = 61), reduced referral rates 29% (n = 42), and diagnosis assistance 13% (n = 18) were the main benefits expressed. Cost 45% (n = 64) and time 34% (n = 48) were the main barriers identified.
Conclusion: This study proved that Irish GPs would also like increased access to POCTs. They feel that these tests would benefit patient care. Unsurprisingly, cost and time were two barriers identified to using POCT devices, which supports outcomes from studies. Radical changes would be required in primary care to facilitate implementation of POCTs and attention must be paid to how the costs of POCTs will be funded. This study may act as a prompt for future international research to further explore this area.