As part of a symposium on laboratory medicine, a colloquium on point-of-care testing was held in June 1999 where four experts were invited to produce recommendations and opinions on the use of point-of-care testing under various clinical venues. Each commented on costs for providing POCT services. A total of eleven recommendations and four opinions were rendered and discussed in an open forum. While one expert concluded that some forms of POCT are less expensive than central laboratory testing if entire laboratory workstations are eliminated, another expert suggested that POCT offered little advantage if rapid transport systems are available. A recommendation was made that POCT be considered for analytes that have a required reporting turnaround time of <30 min, and that the goals for precision and accuracy should be dictated by the clinical need and not by analytical limitations. Recommendations for POCT in specific clinical situations include use of glycated hemoglobin and urine albumin testing with personal glucose monitoring at the time of consultation, use of glycated albumin for gestational diabetes, leukocyte esterase and nitrite testing in urine to screen for urinary tract infections, coagulation tests for monitoring patients on oral anticoagulant therapy and in the operating room, testing for H. pylori for patients with dyspepsia, and cardiac markers and urine drugs-of-abuse testing in the emergency department.