National Survey on Biohazard Control for Point-of-Care Testing

Richard F. Louie, Matthew J. Lau, Nam Tran, Zuping Tang, Judith H. Lee, Gerald J Kost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to conduct a national survey to understand the current state of biohazard controls for point-of-care testing (POCT). The survey was distributed to 50 professionals at U.S. hospitals, consulting firms, and accreditation and regulatory agencies by electronic mail with telephone follow-up. The authors surveyed physicians, POCT coordinators, infection control officers, safety officers, laboratory technicians, and consultants. They asked about disinfection protocols for POCT instruments, disposal of POCT wastes (e.g., test strips), concerns about biohazard controls for POCT, and types of pathogens potentially spread by POCT. The response rate was 80% (40 of 50). Responses were categorized, grouped, and analyzed. Thirty-four percent of the responding institutions did not have a defined disinfection protocol for POCT instruments other than universal precautions, whereas 66% had either a defined disinfection protocol in their nursing procedures or in an overlapping infection control policy. Ninety-three percent of the institutions stated that they did not have difficulty with proper disposal of POCT wastes, such as test strips, test cartridges, and lancets. The pathogens of most concern for spread by POCT were hepatitis B and C viruses (63%). The main concerns about biohazard control for POCT were instrument contamination, cross-infection, and nosocomial infection (27%), and improper transporting, handling, or disposal of waste (27%). Disinfection procedures for POCT instruments were not defined at many hospitals. In view of the wide range of concern and the potential risks for infection, guidelines for biohazard controls for POCT are warranted to protect the safety of patients and hospital staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalPlastic Surgical Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


  • Bacterial and viral pathogens
  • Compliance and education
  • Cross-infection and nosocomial infection
  • Guidelines and infection control policy
  • Monitoring and surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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