Digital innovation delivering smarter services

Digital-AP2We have more than 50 Information Communications Technology (ICT) projects underway to boost collaboration, enhance connectivity and deliver faster, better outcomes for patients and our customers. 

Each initiative links to our ICT Strategic Plan (released last year),  which outlines our priorities and approach to corporate and clinical ICT services.

A new view with digital Anatomical Pathology 

  • The anatomical pathology (AP) workplace is being revolutionalised by going digital. 
  • Digital AP means slides are viewed on large screens instead of microscopes.  This allows pathologists to zoom-in to measure and pinpoint issues with tissue samples in ways they haven’t been able to before. 
  • Slides are stored centrally and accessed remotely from any digital pathology workstation. This makes it easier to call for a second opinion from other pathology experts, no matter where they’re located.  
  • We’re trialling digital workstations at some of our AP labs to get a better understanding of benefits, implementation issues and how we can use this technology more widely.  

Structured reporting improves accuracy 

  • Structured reporting is backed by software that provides a series of pre-defined fields where our pathologists can record data for patients’ cancer reports. 
  • It provides clearer, complete and more precise clinical information than the current free-text method of recording results. 
  • Report fields align with templates developed by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA). 
  • The RCPA collaborated with colleges internationally, which means the data we record in structured reporting is in line with world-class standards. 
  • We’ve given the Cancer Institute NSW a demonstration of the software and we’re now exploring the best way to implement this technology in our AP labs. 

Taking genomics data to the cloud

  • NSW Health Pathology Genomics is pursuing cloud-based technology to manage collection, analysis and sharing of genomics data. 
  • While others have used cloud technology to store genomics research data for some time, we’re leading the way in adopting this technology for clinical diagnostics. 
  • It will enable better, faster access to centralised diagnostic data that can be more easily shared with experts across our statewide genomics service. This means better clinical decisions regardless of where a patient is based.
  • We’re currently completing a privacy and security assessment. From there, we’ll be looking for ways to integrate the cloud-based software within our existing systems. 
  • We’ll then go to the market to find the most suitable software solutions so we can start using the cloud for our genomics data.

Pathology results in digital health records

  • Pathology test results will soon be part of HealtheNet — the statewide electronic medical record system accessed by NSW Health clinicians.  
  • This is the first time NSW pathology results will be included. 
  • With more than 70% of patient treatment decisions based on pathology, providing easier access to results will help reduce time to treatment and improve care.  
  • HealtheNet provides a summary of a patient’s recent medical history from all Local Health Districts instantly.
  • We’re also working to make pathology results available in My Health Record – the Australian Government’s initiative that gives patients control of their digital health record, what goes in it and who is allowed to access it. 
  • NSW Health Pathology results will be available for clinicians in HealtheNet in the first half of this year.    

There’s an app for that

  • We’re developing an app that will give clinicians secure access to NSW Health Pathology results and allow them to place orders from mobile devices.  
  • We’re working with a clinician reference group to make sure that functionality is practical and adds significant value to clinical decisions and patient care. 
  • With their input, we’ve developed a prototype which we’re currently testing. From there, we’ll  develop a working version for a staged release to our customers.  

For more information on any of these, contact the NSW Health Pathology Information Communications Technology team.

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