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International Council for Standardization (ICSH) Guideline for Worldwide Point-of-Care Testing in Haematology with Special Reference to the Complete Blood Count

Authors & Contributors

C. Briggs - J. Carter - S.-H. Lee - L. Sandhaus - R. Simon-Lopez - J.-L. Vives Corrons

First Published

10 March 2008





These guidelines provide information on how to develop and manage a point-of-care (POCT) service so that reliable haematology results are produced regardless of where the test is performed.


Many of the issues addressed here are relevant to POCT within hospitals or health centres; however, the principles are equally applicable to care in the community and doctors’ offices. Other aspects discussed in this guideline are the initiation of the service (including indications for and limitations of a POCT service), staff training, type of haematology equipment selected, the blood results, monitoring of quality, accreditation, safety and cost.


Equipment selected should generate results that are comparable to those of the local reference laboratory. If a complete independent evaluation of the POCT device has not been performed, the purchaser should perform a local assessment according to the protocol in this document. A literature search should also be undertaken to find independent peer reviewed evaluations on POCT equipment.


Often the ideals discussed here may not be achievable in some developing countries but long-term training and education of POCT workers needs to be supported and constantly kept on government agendas to reach the recommendations advised here.


Users should interpret these recommendations for their particular POCT needs and setting.

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