The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) recently published Physician and Nonphysician Provider-Performed Microscopy Testing; Approved Guideline-Second Edition (POCT10-A2). This guideline provides information on specimen collection, test methodologies, procedural steps, reporting of results, and the quality assurance aspects of provider-performed microscopy (PPM). POCT10-A2 replaces its previous version, HS02-A.

"In this revision, a large selection of images were added to improve recognition and the quality of training, to create comprehensive guidance for microscopy testing," said Peggy Mann, MS, MT(ASCP), from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Tex, and co-chairholder of the document development committee.

POCT10 provides information, instructions, and performance criteria to assist providers who perform PPM procedures, with accurate reporting of diagnostic information from their observations. These are appropriate procedures for the examining room, emergency room, or clinic environment as an adjunct to traditional clinical laboratory testing. This testing may also provide for a rapid diagnosis of the patient condition.

"The information in this document may help providers increase the reliability and value of microscopic testing performed in their clinical office during a patient’s visit," explained Mina L. Harkins, MBA, MT(ASCP), of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Washington DC, and co-chairholder of the document development committee. "POCT10 covers important information that can enhance the provider’s knowledge of critical preexamination, examination, and postexamination practices."

Included in this guideline are topics that address characteristics of the diagnosis and management of patients in the clinical office setting. Also included are sections related to performance of laboratory testing in nontraditional laboratory settings, including specimen collection and handling, competence assessment, testing procedures and interpretation, proficiency testing, quality control, quality assurance, and recommended documentation.

Providers in near-patient testing environments who perform PPM in locations such as hospitals, medical centers, academic centers, providers’ offices, outpatient clinics, community and rural health centers, and medical and dental training programs will benefit from using this guideline. This document may also be used to train qualified individuals who are allowed to perform PPM.

Source: CLSI