Lockhart River recognised for excellent healthcare testing
18 April 2019
Lockhart River Primary Health Care Centre has been named winner of the “best low-volume site’’ category of Pathology Queensland’s annual State-wide Point-of-Care Testing Excellence in Quality award.
The award recognises the performance for the past year of point-of-care testing sites across Queensland, including within the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service region, and is awarded in four separate categories.
Pathology Queensland State-wide Point-of-Care Testing Lead Cameron Martin said Lockhart River PHCC had to meet a range of criteria and beat out another 100 contenders to be considered for the award for its category.
“Point-of-care testing, or POCT, enables clinicians to get test results quickly, allowing them to make informed decisions immediately about the patient in front of them,’’ Mr Martin said.
“This technology makes a huge difference to a remote community like Lockhart River where there is no onsite pathology lab to process patient blood tests.
“High test success rates and high patient identification compliance are key criteria that we look at when deciding who to recognise.
“With more than 300 facilities of various sizes using the technology across the state, and using it extremely well, it is always a tight finish in all four categories of the award.
“The team at Lockhart River on Cape York hit it out of the park for their category during 2018, with outstanding test and compliance success rates, allowing clinicians to diagnose and treat patients appropriately.
“Last year alone, more than 400 000 people across Queensland got their results via point-of-care testing technology.
“However, that number is even higher when you look at the individual tests being analysed, which is over one million tests.’’
Lockhart River PHCC Director of Nursing Josh Stafford said the team was thrilled to be recognised for their contribution to the success of point-of-care testing across the state.
“I would like to congratulate our staff at Lockhart River for their achievement and to thank our colleagues in Pathology Queensland for the work they do in supporting pathology services in remote areas such as ours,’’ Mr Stafford said.
“Point-of-care testing is pathology testing using a hand-held analytic device that is carried out on site at a health facility at the time of patient consultation and the results immediately available, or within a very short time.
“This avoids the need to send samples away to a distant laboratory and wait several days until the results come back.
“Point-of-care equipment is a real benefit in rural and remote facilities where in-house pathology services are not available.
“Nowadays, an increasing range of tests can be performed by trained staff using a hand-held device on very small sample volumes in less than 10 minutes; including tests for glucose, haemoglobin, lipids, electrolytes, urea and creatinine, blood gases, coagulation and cardiac markers.
“High quality results at the point of care can improve patient outcomes by adjusting treatment regimens early in the management of acute and chronic diseases and illnesses.’’
The Point-of-Care Testing Excellence in Quality has been presented annually since 2009 by Pathology Queensland, which manages public pathology laboratories and oversees public health facility pathology testing processes across the state.
PHOTO CAPTION: Lockhart River Primary Health Care Centre Registered Nurse Tiffany Callanan with one of the i-STAT hand-held point-of-care analytic devices used for delivering test results quickly and easily.