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Big changes have been happening in Austin Health Pathology, including the consolidation of the health service with regional labs throughout Victoria and the expansion of Point of Care Testing (POCT).
Austin Health Pathology was selected to provide pathology services to a number of health services in the Hume and Loddon Mallee regions after the Department of Health’s decision to consolidate regional pathology services into three state-wide networks.
The expansion increases access for residents of regional communities to tertiary Pathology services, and positions Austin Health well as an industry leader.
“Having Austin and regional labs consolidated ensures improved patient care with a quicker turnaround time of pathology results,” Point of Care Manager, Ronnel Nallas, says.
“Creating this network gives greater access for patient healthcare.”
Quality control IT systems were rolled out to regional labs across the network to ensure everyone was using the same type of instruments.
“The harmonisation of IT systems means all quality controls and quality assurance results are fed into a central database,” Quality Control Officer, Cameron Swan, says.
“This allows for review across the network, but also gives us the ability to drill down into an individual test at an individual lab.”
The expansion of POCT allows for testing and analysis to take place where healthcare is provided close to or near the patient.
“This allows clinicians access to some pathology tests in a shorter time frame, which means they can make a quick decision on how to proceed with a patient’s treatment,” Ronnel says.
POCT is a rapidly developing area.
Austin Health Pathology will soon conduct a survey of POCT instruments used at the health service, to ensure it has appropriate governance of testing that occurs outside of the laboratory environment, and the best possible testing is provided for patients.