Pathologists on the frontline
Our pathology team have been working tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Workflow Supervisor, Kim Lam says this has been one of the most challenging and rewarding times in her career.
“There were days we worked around the clock to get over 1,500 COVID-19 swabs into the system and off for processing.”
“Knowing we’re contributing to quickest possible turnaround time for patients’ COVID-19 results is a real motivator. I like knowing that I can help in this way,” says Kim.
Kim works in the specimen reception and is the first point of contact for COVID-19 swabs in our pathology.
“We enter the details into the system. Some COVID-19 tests get processed in the Austin Health Pathology lab, others get sent onto other pathology labs to be processed.
“We’re collaborating with other Pathology services to get COVID-19 tests processed as quickly as possible.”
Kim adds that Austin Pathology not only services Austin Hospital but also ONJ Cancer Centre, Mercy Hospital for Women and collection centres across the northern suburbs and rural areas.
“At the moment we’re averaging 500 COVID-19 swabs a day.”
Director of Pathology, Nick Crinis says it’s been a real team effort.
“I’d like to acknowledge tremendous work and dedication of all our pathology staff.
“Due to the pandemic we’ve expanded our operating hours, and we’ve also moved pathology staff into different roles to best assist with the COVID-19 testing workload.
“We’ve also been providing rapid COVID-19 testing, which takes 90 minutes to get a result. We’ve been providing this 24-hours a day, seven days a week since February.
“My team have been incredibly flexible and adaptive, and I thank them for this,”says Nick.
He explains that Pathology have played a crucial role in Austin Health’s COVID-19 response.
“We’ve supported other areas of the hospital, in turning around COVID-19 results as well as getting results to the community. This also includes rural health services in the Hume catchment.”
“I’m incredibly proud of my team,”says Nick.