New research published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association suggests that point-of care testing for infectious diseases in community pharmacies could be an opportunity to expand pharmacy services beyond medication dispensing and patient counseling to encompass convenient, accessible and affordable services.

The study found that the barriers to implementing POC testing were not “insurmountable” and that offering those service, administered with proper training and within state guidelines, could potentially improve the detection and management of infectious diseases by reducing the time between testing and diagnosis. Prompt, accurate testing could also stem disease transmission and the overuse of antibiotics.

The study noted that challenges to testing in community pharmacies included deficits in pharmacist training and variance and lack of clarity in state statutes and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy.