Smiling lab technician in a laboratory wearing gloves and a coat.

Real-time pathology report access brings better patient care

29 November 2019

Patient care has been enhanced now that NSW Health clinicians have real-time access to public pathology reports from across the state.

This is improving clinical decision-making, with results from tests of blood, urine and bodily tissue, among others, influencing around 70 per cent of all diagnoses and 100 per cent of cancer diagnoses.

Cutting down on the need for unnecessary repeat tests, this digital access is helping to streamline and enhance the patient journey, regardless of where a patient lives or presents for treatment.

HealtheNet brings regions together to enhance the patient journey

A major project to integrate all four NSW Health Pathology geographical areas into HealtheNet – a clinical portal accessed via the electronic medical record (EMR) and feeding into My Health Record – is now complete, with Hunter New England, Central Coast, Northern Sydney, Mid North Coast and Northern NSW Local Health Districts (LHDs) going live on 20 November.

Smiling lab technician in a laboratory wearing gloves and a coat.
Real-time access to pathology reports is reducing the need for repeat tests and helping to streamline the patient journey.

In 2018, NSW Health Pathology performed about 60 million public pathology tests. Clinicians rely on pathology test results during the monitoring and prevention (screening) stages of care and they are also crucial for infection prevention and public health surveillance and reporting.

“The power and benefit of these functions are greatly amplified with state-wide centralised access to pathology results,” said Steve Badham, eHealth NSW’s Director of Integrated Care.

“This is a major leap forward for NSW Health clinicians who now have pathology results information readily available.

“This is helpful in cases where patients have been transferred from a hospital in another LHD; no time is wasted in chasing down these results – they are all accessible via HealtheNet.”

Collaboration provides improved care

This integration was achieved through collaboration between two NSW Health agencies – eHealth NSW and NSW Health Pathology.

“The integration of our last geographical sector into HealtheNet is the culmination of many years of hard work and collaboration with eHealth NSW,” said NSW Health Pathology Chief Information Officer James Patterson.

“As a state-wide service, we are dedicated to ensuring our patients receive the best quality care, no matter where they are, and clinicians having access to pathology results is an essential component of that care.

“We’re always striving to innovate and be involved in pioneering new technology that will ultimately make a positive difference for our patients.”

South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Shoalhaven LHDs started contributing pathology information to HealtheNet in April 2017, followed by the Western Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Western NSW, Far West, Murrumbidgee and Southern NSW LHDs in August 2017. Sydney and South Western Sydney LHDs in began contributing results in August 2019.

St Vincent’s SydPath connected to HealtheNet on 26 November and Pathology at The Children's Hospital at Westmead will go live by the end of 2019 – completing the roll-out and enhancing the digital transformation of NSW Health for the benefit of its clinicians and the patients for whom they care.

Related News