System improving speed of diagnosis

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A recent electronic upgrade in the way the Southern Trust undertakes urine testing is greatly improving the speed and accuracy of diagnosis.

A total of 110 high tech Urinalysis machines have now been installed throughout Acute and Non Acute Hospitals, Health Centres and Outpatients Departments.

Thousands of patient urine samples are analysed in Southern Trust laboratories each month to diagnose a wide range of conditions.

Derek McKillop, Clinical Scientist for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said, “We are very proud of the Point of Care Testing service which we provide from our laboratories and are continuously striving to improve its quality.

“We traditionally used chemical dipsticks, compared to a coloured scale, which could be quite subjective and left room for inaccurate readings.

“This latest Urine testing technology is much more reliable and can be used for a wider range of diagnoses, including pregnancy tests. Results are automatically added to the patient’s notes avoiding the need for repeat tests by other clinics and allowing clinicians to review a case remotely.”

Since going live, staff are undertaking approximately 500 tests each day and are finding that urine testing has become much easier and faster.

Derek added, “We would like to thank our Estates and IT colleagues who along with our Infection Prevention and Control team played a key role in the implementation of this huge project which involved identifying 110 suitable locations for the new units, undertaking installation works and organising power and wifi for each.

“We are delighted with the outcome, which is greatly enhancing the quality of care we are able to provide.”