Laboratory and POCT Standards amended

October 2, 2019

ACP Council approves changes after input received from Alberta Health.

ACP Council has approved amendments to the college’s Standards for laboratory and point-of-care testing after receiving input from officials at Alberta Health.

Five changes were made to the standards; the primary change was to standard 26(d) regarding the responsibility to report positive tests of communicable diseases to the medical officer of health. Standard 26 now states the following:

“A pharmacist who makes a decision based on the interpretation of laboratory or POCT data must

  1. document the decision and the rationale for it in the patient record;
  2. discuss the decision and the rationale with the patient;
  3. include any reference to testing data in any communication about the decision with members of the patient’s health care team; and
  4. in the case of reportable communicable diseases, promptly report the results of positive tests to the medical officer of health.”

The previous version of the standard created an impression that the medical officer of health would manage the care of an individual with a communicable disease. The revision adds clarity that this is not the case. The role of the medical officer of health is not to directly treat the patient but rather to monitor disease trends. Pharmacists should be familiar with the requirements for reporting communicable disease and only report communicable diseases when they have been confirmed through a diagnostic test. Reporting the results of screening tests is not necessary.

The changes to the standards take effect immediately.

To view the complete, amended standards, visit the Standards of Practice page.

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