Point-of-care (POC) testing is becoming increasingly valuable in health care delivery, and it is important that the devices used meet the same quality criteria as main laboratory analyzers. While external quality assessment (EQA) provides a great tool for assessing quality, many POC devices are not enrolled in these schemes and standard laboratory evaluations are needed to assess performance.Methods:
The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) protocols EP-5 and EP-9 were applied to investigate imprecision, accuracy and bias. We assessed bias using the mean of 4 certified secondary reference measurement procedures (SRMPs).Results:
The Afinion2™ and the Quo-Lab had CVs of ≤1.7 and ≤2.4% respectively in IFCC SI units (≤1.2 and ≤1.7% NGSP) and a bias ≤2 mmol/mol (≤0.2% NGSP) at 48 and 75 mmol/mol (6.5 and 9.0% NGSP). Sigma for the Afinion2 was 5.8 and for the Quo-Lab 4.0. Both methods passed the NGSP criteria with 2 instruments when compared with 4 individual SRMPs. The HbA1c 501 had a CV of 3.4% and 2.7% in IFCC SI units (2.1% and 1.7% NGSP) and a bias ≤2.4 mmol/mol (≤0.2% NGSP) and passed the NGSP criteria with 2 instruments compared with 4 individual SRMPs except for instrument 2 compared with the Tosoh G8. Sigma was 2.1. The A1Care had a sigma of 1.4 and failed all criteria mainly due to a high CV (6.2% and 4.1% in IFCC SI units [4.1% and 2.9% NGSP] at 48 and 75 mmol/mol [6.5 and 9.0% NGSP]).Conclusions:
The analytical performance was excellent for the Afinion2 and the Quo-Lab, acceptable for the HbA1c 501 and unacceptable for the A1Care according to different used criteria, demonstrating that whilst performance is improving there are still areas for considerable improvement.