Point of care testing means more patients have access to quality, reliable pathology tests. That means faster pathology results and receiving treatment faster.
It also means patients who need critical care are identified more quickly and transported to larger hospitals to receive life saving treatments.
On the flip side, it also means patients who might have had to travel for pathology tests in the past can now stay where they are and reduce the time away from their loved ones.
All of this ultimatley improves the safety of patients.
Point of care testing is also saving ED and nursing staff time with more streamlined record keeping and increased confidence in results, as devices are managed to the same quality standards as traditional laboratory instruments
By taking a statewide approach, NSW Health Pathology was also able to deliver other value-adds in the first year of the program, including funding for year-one maintenance contracts and accreditation costs as well as reduced prices for consumables that support the devices.
Feedback from users and financial benefits
A survey of 9,000 operators showed that more than 90% of respondents said they have confidence in the results, that point of care helps with decision making, improves patient outcomes, and changes patient management decisions.
The survey also showed that 86% of respondents said they believed point of care was good value for money.
We've completed two case studies (at Merriwa and Singleton Hospitals) to pinpoint the real benefits of the devices:
- At Merriwa Hosptial, two patients were identified as having sepsis with point of care testing during the evaulation period. Projected annual financial savings were $58,000 (including $28,000 in urgent patient transfers, $19,000 in avoided taxi fares to courier blood, and $11,000 in reduced length of Emergency Department stays - 100 hours).
- At Singleton Hospital projected annual savings were $188,000 (including $86,000 in urgent patient transfers, $26,000 in avoided taxi fares to courier blood, and $76,000 in reduced length of Emergency Department stays - 168 hours).
For more information please contact Andrew Sargeant, NSW Health Pathology's Point of Care Director ph. 02 4920 4008
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