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A speedy solution to what could have been imminent chaos. NSW Health Pathology stepped up in the thick of the pandemic when Covid-19 results were needed yesterday, delivering additional rapid testing analysers with results in less than 20 minutes.
It was clear early in the pandemic that we’d have to source a new type of diagnostic platform that could perform rapid COVID-19 tests and get them to where they were needed.
Hospitals needed fast results to care for critically ill patients and control infection; potential outbreaks in vulnerable remote communities, jails and nursing homes would need to be managed.
A crack team of people with diverse skills who hadn’t worked together before were drafted into action to provide a much-needed boost to our usual rapid testing capabilities.
Soon, a new type of analyser was up and running in 48 of our laboratories, six rapid testing clinics and five emergency departments, delivering results in real time via our award-winning integrated diagnostic pipeline. Results from remote rapid testing centres were instantly available to lab teams who confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses and notified public health teams in time to enact containment and other management strategies.
From August 2021 to end of April this year, these analysers deployed throughout rural, regional and metropolitan NSW gave over 311,000 results. They’re easy enough for health staff with no microbiology testing experience to use, and flexible enough to also use for Flu A/B testing without changing ICT systems or providing extra training.
More than 100 of the instruments are still in use giving 38,000 results a month as the pandemic continues.