A meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) polymerase chain reaction assay (Xpert® MRSA, Cepheid) was assessed for point-of-care testing (POCT) used by healthcare assistants in an orthopaedic pre-admission clinic and on a vascular ward to reduce turnaround time. POCT results were compared with the routine swabs taken for culture. The POCT assay was easy to use, the turnaround time for negative results was greatly reduced, and sensitivity was 75.0% in the pre-admission clinic and 80.0% in the vascular ward. There were 27 POCT-positive/culture-negative results, but there was no evidence of MRSA infection or colonization in these patients for at least a year post procedure. POCT for MRSA colonization performed beyond the laboratory has important advantages over laboratory-based methods and should be explored further.