Acting Pathology West and Rural Microbiology Discipline Scientist, In–charge of Core Microbiology, ICPMR
Westmead, NSW Health Pathology
Most concepts of a future lab are saddled with spatial and physical mindsets which impact on the interpretation and subsequent use of technology. Often technology is seen as the driver to the ‘Super Lab of the Future’ and precipitating changes within our industry. These changes involve how industry works and then how we integrate into that framework to maintain relevance and not be the rate limiting step. Medical practice is certainly changing and the concepts of hospitals and who and how they treat has changed. The demands for rapid timely results pressure diagnostic services, especially traditionally based services such as bacteriology. The Westmead journey has evolved from the extension of services to a 24/7 platform to mirror our operational service context and commitment to relevant rapid service.
The adoption of emerging technologies has enabled the use of molecular techniques in a routine diagnostic microbiology laboratory, without contamination; the automation of bacterial culture processing via tracks and reading of cultures by way of digital imaging to evolve from a rapid service into an on-demand continuous service changes the way microbiology has been done. Digital imaging has created the opportunity for web based bacteriology and pushed the limits of the laboratory into the virtual zone with remote 24/7 plate reading and internet access to the laboratory with “no boundaries”. This session will cover the realized benefits of the Westmead journey:
· How the technology has further been integrated to simultaneously process shared samples, driving efficiencies to new levels and challenging processing concepts
· Harmonisation has never been more real with the ability to centralise processing while diversifying plate reading; creating an inclusive rather than exclusive environment
· Safety and Quality have moved to new levels with improvements in service delivery
· Flexible work practices and professional development opportunities have been given tangible boosts creating a better work place