Site and Product Selection
When selecting sites, it is important for countries to consider their primary objectives for integrating POC technologies into national diagnostic networks. They could include decreasing turn-around-time for test results; increasing the proportion of test results returned to patients; and/or increasing access to testing.
When selecting sites, countries may also wish to explore a range of models of service delivery, for example:
- Hub and spoke: The “hub” is the anchor site that provides the POC testing that is extended to additional neighboring sites/facilities (“spokes”).
- Platform sharing: A POC platform is shared across different health facilities/sites.
- Co-location of services: Patients are referred across clinics and services within the same facility (e.g., nutrition clinics, in-patient wards and outpatient services) to maximize the use of the POC device.
The selection of POC products should be objective and transparent, deploying the most appropriate products to sites, complementing the existing laboratory network to maximize impact on patient access to testing. POC products should be selected in response to the specific needs, capacity, and limitations of selected sites and the laboratory-clinic network as a whole, as well as to ensure instruments are fit-for-purpose.
For countries receiving Global Fund grants, the Global Fund’s Viral Load and Early Infant Diagnosis Selection and Procurement Information Tool is designed to guide countries receiving Global Fund grants with the selection and procurement of viral load (VL) and early infant diagnosis (EID) technologies, including POC diagnostic technologies approved by the Global Fund. It is advised that countries using Global Fund funding to purchase POC diagnostic products discuss their needs with Global Fund procurement as part of the product selection process.
Tools and Guidance