Latest News

29th July 2020 Current IoT connectivity status
The PoCT Service is rapidly utilising its IoT capability to improve result delivery service and patient management opportunities within NSW Health.  Currently:
• 9 PoCT pathology devices are connected through IoT within NSW Hospitals (ED, Paed's, OT, Path)
• 20 CareTaker vital signs devices are connected through IoT for University of New England.  (CareTaker is a continous vital signs monitor used for remotely monitoring patients, focusins on solutions to manage COVID positive patients outside of hospital)
• 11 PeriLynx devices used for maternal screening are in the process of being connected through IoT in birthing suites
• 18 different device models are able to connect through IoT diagnostics pipeline including pathology and medical PoCT devices
• 806 pathology results sent through IoT so far in 2020
• 14 INR patient results, monthly QC results and bimonthly QA results (100% transmission rate) transmitted through IoT pipeline in Trangie (this device was not connected for 4 years prior)
28th July 2020
i-STAT Alinity's being rolled out in response to COVID-19
The PoCT team have been working with Abbott to develop, test and implement remote management software for the new fleet of Alinity's.  As part of the wave 1 COVID-19 preparations, NSW Health Pathology purchased 101 i-STAT Alinity analysers, the newest model in the i-STAT range.  91 of these are now connected to the remote management software which allows software upgrades and other device setting changes to be performed remotely without having to recall devices to a central location or technicians attend to the device in situ.  21 of the fleet are now being used for patient testing.
30th June 2020
3ml Syringe Education Update
Virtual training has now been completed with Far West LHD, Western NSW LHD, Murrumbidgee LHD and Southern NSW LHD over 24 sessions by PoCT Clinical Training Coordinator, Amy Sutherland for using 3ml heparinised syringes when testing on CG4+, CG8+ and CHEM8+ cartridges.  Previous collection methods had potential for misinterpretation of blood acid base when testing blood gases and showed bias towards lower than expected pCO2 and corresponding higher than expect pH.

3ml syringe education 3ml syringe ivc draw
4th June 2020
Hospital in the Home (HITH) Goes Live
NSW Health Pathology Point of Care Testing team demonstrated our Hospital in the Home (HITH) services yesterday in Armidale.  Federal Ministers, Mark Coulton and Barnaby Joyce were excited to see this palliative care initiative using CareTaker devices and our Internet of Things (IoT) technology for transmitting results, resulting in a better quality of life, by allowing patients to stay at home whilst being monitored by Health professionals.  This will reduce unnecessary hospital visits and provide a better service for patients.

Watch the NBN News and Prime 7 features.

HITH 1 HITH 2 HITH 3 Caretaker
2nd June 2020  Radiometer Update
Here is the latest update from Radiometer:
• Field Service Engineers have resumed normal activities, carrying out preventative maintenance visits and software upgrades.
• Sales and Applications team is back to supporting customers where the risk is acceptable and local guidelines are met.
• Instrument availability will ramp up in June with increased volumes for production.
• there is currently no issues with supply chain or consumable availability. 
23rd April 2020  Device Alerts
The Point of Care Testing Device Alerts page has been updated so we can better promote the tracking of recalls and/or alerts to our customers.
15th April 2020  Virtual Hospital in Armidale - on Sunrise
NSW Health Pathology's Sepsis Project team will be applying their skills to assist University of New England and local New        England clinicians establish in-home monitoring. 

The NSW Health Pathology Pathway data capture and display solution will be used to help vital signs information from CareTaker devices be securely transmitted using the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and then displayed on a dashboard for medical teams to manage patients from a central monitoring location.  The dashboard will be modified from the current sepsis dashboard to create a more comprehensive deteriorating.  Check out the news link.
15th April 2020  Point of Care Testing Service has opportunities to join our team
Product and Customer Support Officer positions will be based in Newcastle/Hunter (1), Kempsey (1) and Sydney (2) to assist our existing PoCT team members deliver its world class service.  We are looking for people who know how to consistently support customers with smiles and good grace, are resilient and want to be part of a successful, cohesive and supportive team.  These positions are the starting place for those looking for a challenge in a rapidly expanding and changing diagnostic world.  Apply today.
3rd April 2020  RCPA Position Statement on COVID-19 IgG/IgM PoCT Kits 
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) has distributed a position statement relating to the acute diagnosis of COVID-19.
1st April 2020  Blood Gas Analyser and Other Device Procurement Status
NSW Health Pathology have been working with COVID coordinators from Local Health Districts, laboratories, Clinical Streams and HealthShare to identify and procure technology to support ICUs, EDs and COVID wards to get ready for a surge in activity.  The PoCT team are managing applications to ensure the process is followed with laboratory management and LHD management involved in the final decision making.  This will allow for a tailored approach that suits each hospital's needs.  This will involve supply of new devices or relocation of existing technology:

The status of implementations will be supported with the following technology that has been ordered:
•  15 Werfen GEM5000 blood gas analysers - 10 available next week (all that is currently available in Australia)
•  17 Radiometer ABL90 blood gas analysers - 6 available next week (6 weeks for delivery of 11 remaining)
•  101 iSTAT Alinity's which will be an option for some sites as well as backup should a supply line fail for Radiometer ABL or GEM5000 blood gas analysers (delivery later this week)
•  100 SolidRun IoT devices to enable electronic result delivery of the iSTAT Alinity's (delivery commencing in two weeks)
•  50 PoCT Full Blood Count devices - earmarked to support regional, rural and remote emergency departments and their associate laboratories (delivery commencing in two weeks)
31st March 2020  COVID-19 Testing Kits

NSW Health Pathology have been collating a list of all emerging test kits.  So far we have identified over 120 different technologies from many different countries.  We have categorised these according to the following:
•  Laboratory PCR test
•  PCR test in under an hour
•  Antigen detection test
•  Anitbody detection test

Our plan is to evaluate a selection which will be shortlisted by our Microbiology Stream Committee based on whether the product is from a reputable manufacturer and/or the supporting documentation indicates an acceptable analytical quality and/or the product is already available in Australia in sufficient quantities and/or it is developed and manufactured locally.  We will receive the first stock of antibody test kits for evaluation this week (criteria met = the product is already available in Australia).

The evaluation will be coordinated by Chris Kot, NSW Health Pathology Evaluation Coordinator and conducted by various NSW Health Pathology laboratories.  At this stage there are no plans to evaluate laboratory based PCR solutions given the current performance and efforts will focus on the other categories.  Westmead Hospital Serology department will be evaluating anitbody detection kits.

For more information contact Chris Kot.

30th March 2020
What PoCT is doing to help during COVID-19
A new communication channel in Microsoft TEAMs has been created to centralise all Point of Care Testing information during COVID-19.  The information on this page will reflect our priorities and responsibilities of these important tasks.  This can be summarised as:

1. Ensuring Emergency Departments, ICU's and new COVID specific spaces have access to the PoCT they need.  This will ensure devies are in situ and connected withing the next two weeks, staff are training to use them and they have enough stock to run required tests.
Who - PoCT Zone Managers and their teams, Training Coordinator  and PoCT ICT team (20 people)
What - This will include a summary of application for new devices and what PoCT has been implemented at each hospital.  Stock reports will also be included subject to data availability.

2. Collating list of new COVID technology
Who - PoCT Evaluation Coordinator and two unpaid University students (3 people)
What - This will include a comprehensive list of new technology, the evaluation list and status, evaluation reports and decisions on utility

3. Setting up and maintaining systems
Who - PoCT Service Support Officer and Quality System Support Officer (2 people)
What - Establishing communication systems and supporting existing quality systems (such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Cubit)

4. In-home monitoring solution using Sepsis Dashboard
Who - Project team from the Proactive Sepsis Management Project (4 people)
What - Integrating CareTaker vital signs device and finalising the dashboard to receive live data.
Past News Stories
December 2019
Taiwan Accreditation Foundation (TAF) Visit
In late 2019, a representative from the Taiwan Accreditation Foundation visited NATA to observe how Point of Care Testing (PoCT) accreditation is managed and assessed in Australian.  Click here to read more.