Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Department or Program Chair

Mary Sevigny, PhD

First Reader

Maria C. DeSousa, JD, MPA, CLS

Second Reader



Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) is usually performed at the patient’s bedside by healthcare providers other than laboratory- trained professionals. Rapid growth of POCT is supported by numerous factors which include healthcare provider efficiency, improving diagnostic insight and better patient outcomes. This project study is done to make sure POCT users have adequate training to ensure and enhance the quality and patient safety. The individual performing these tests to be trained properly before he/she is approved to operate the POC devices. One method to ensure POCT operators have met the required training is the lock out approach which will not allow them to perform testing until they have completed the required training. The more recent POCT devices have built in operator lock-out features. This added feature of lock-out alerts the user of the operational time lag. Non-competent users can be locked out with the help of this software and this will ensure an un-trained user will not perform testing. The operator lock-out minimizes error, ensures patient safety and is an important feature for quality control improvement. In this study, we conducted surveys with health care providers who perform POCT in two hospitals: University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). The result of the study showed operators of the POCT devices were interested in ensuring proper training and competency of the operators. They were interested in having a lock out process and the ability to use an emergency release code during an emergency situation so that the testing can be done in a timely method. Maintaining a valid competency for all operators through a competency assessment plan and a continuous educational program will ensure un-interrupted services to the needed patients and avoid the use of the lock-out feature. Providing a special code to be used by locked-out operator during emergencies, is an added benefit to the patient care. The future is promising with this technology, so it is important to have a good system in place. Operator lock-out is a safeguard to the patient care beside it is a compliance and one of the quality improvement tool.