Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in demand for pathology services. With quick, accurate testing a vital part of the COVID-19 response, our pathology teams had to rapidly expand their services to ensure testing capacity was at its highest.
Monash Health Pathology has conducted more COVID-19 testing than any other public pathology service in the state. This amounts to more than 213,000 tests, which were conducted all while continuing normal pathology services.
To continue to increase our testing capacity, our Pathology team has been installing new instrumentation in the COVID-19 Laboratory. Two new Panther Fusion analysers have come online to help expand COVID-19 testing at Monash Health.
The Panther Fusion system consists of a high throughput analyser which is designed to run real-time PCR assays. PCR – or Polymerase Chain Reaction – is a technique used in Molecular Laboratories to make many copies of the micro-organism of interest in a patient’s specimen – it can be thought of as ‘molecular photocopying’. PCR enables laboratories to detect very small amounts of bacteria or virus in a sample.
With minimal hands-on time, the fully automated Panther Fusion analysers will increase efficiency and productivity. These analysers, along with existing equipment and new developments, have enabled Monash Health Pathology to triple their COVID-19 testing capacity.
We’ve seen the importance of being able to accommodate for sudden surges in testing demand. This addition to our Clayton Laboratory improves turnaround time and allows patient results to be released sooner.