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SA’s Pathology Future

03 March 2016

SA Pathology has commenced the statewide rollout of a $14m investment in state of the art analysers, which will standardise all our pathology equipment with that being installed at Adelaide’s new Royal Adelaide hospital. When installation is complete in June this year, all laboratories will receive the same results, no matter where tests were ordered. Tests we perform in Berri, Whyalla or Mt Gambier or elsewhere will be directly comparable to those we provide in all laboratories, including the new RAH. At SA Pathology we are embracing these changes as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a better service for all South Australians.

Benefits to doctors and patients

Clinicians in regional centres whose patients require care in metropolitan hospitals will benefit from this common approach. Improved responsiveness and interconnectedness of the new analysers means test reference ranges will be standardised. Other benefits include operational consistency within our organisation, with workflows and training common across all laboratories, giving staff confidence in identical methods, wherever they work, creating a ‘common conversation’ for all staff at all sites. Our personnel will be able to offer the same responses to technical questions whichever site they are working from. Whilst the impact of these major initiatives will be felt first in public hospitals, ultimately the benefits will flow to clinicians everywhere.

Current progress

Integrating disparate systems in this new network will take time; during the transition period, we must run parallel processes to accommodate legacy equipment and software.

Operations have now progressed, with the analysers’ installation at Modbury, Mount Gambier and Women’s and Children’s Hospitals completed recently and work continuing at Flinders Medical Centre this month. The new analysers will be fitted throughout all our laboratories across the state by June this year, when we then turn our focus to final testing phases and completion of our largest, most technologically-advanced pathology facility in the new RAH. With work currently underway in our hospitals, including the new RAH, we anticipate full integration across SA Pathology’s laboratory network by mid-2017.