Point-of-care testing (POCT) remains under scrutiny by healthcare professionals because of its ill-tried, young history. POCT methods are being developed by a few major equipment companies based on rapid progress in informatics and nanotechnology. Issues as POCT quality control, comparability with standard laboratory procedures, standardisation, traceability and round robin testing are being left to hospitals. As a result, the clinical and operational benefits of POCT were first evident for patients on the operating table. For the management of cardiovascular surgery patients, POCT technology is an indispensable aid. Improvement of the technology has meant that clinical laboratory pathologists now recognise the need for POCT beyond their high-throughput areas.