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Type: Journal article
Title: Design, implementation and initial assessment of the Northern Territory point-of-Care Testing Program
Author: Shephard, M.
Spaeth, B.
Mazzachi, B.
Auld, M.
Schatz, S.
Loudon, J.
Rigby, J.
Daniel, V.
Citation: Australian Journal of Rural Health, 2012; 20(1):16-21
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1038-5282
Statement of
Mark D.S. Shephard, Brooke Spaeth, Beryl C. Mazzachi, Malcolm Auld, Steven Schatz, John Loudon, Janet Rigby and Vinod Daniel
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to improve pathology services in selected remote health centres from the Northern Territory (NT) through the implementation of a quality managed point-of-care pathology testing (POCT) service. DESIGN: Study of the efficacy of the POCT service after 1 year and qualitative survey of POCT device operators. SETTING: The study was set in thirty-three remote health centres in the NT administered by the NT Department of Health. PARTICIPANTS: Remote health centre staff at participating remote health centres participated in the study. INTERVENTIONS: The introduction of the i-STAT device to perform on-site POCT. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures used in the study were the number of remote staff trained, volume of testing performed and satisfaction of POCT device operators. RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-four health professional staff were trained to perform i-STAT POCT during the first year of the program. A total of 2290 POCT tests were performed on the i-STAT. The volume of testing consistently increased across the year. Tests for international normalised ratio were the most frequently performed (averaging 70 tests per month). Stakeholder satisfaction with the i-STAT device was high, with a statistically significant improvement in satisfaction levels with pathology service provision being reported after the introduction of POCT. Greater than 80% of respondents stated POCT was more convenient than the laboratory service and assisted in the stabilisation of acutely ill patients. CONCLUSIONS: The NT POCT Program has been operationally effective and well received by staff working as i-STAT POCT operators in remote health centres. Retention of remote health centre staff is the most significant challenge to ensuring the program's long-term viability.
Keywords: Governance
Rights: © 2012 The Authors.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2011.01243.x
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