South Pacific Congress 2015 – Valuing Medical Laboratory Science

Staff from Sysmex New Zealand were kept busy during the South Pacific Congress in Auckland last week, as delegates visited the stand to see what benefits our software solutions could provide their labs. As a joint conference this year between the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science (NZIMLS) and the Australian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), the event offered delegates an Australasian perspective of the medical laboratory science field.

The conference’s theme – “the value of medical laboratory science” gave everyone attending the opportunity to consider the critical contribution medical laboratory scientists, and the systems that support them, make to a patient’s healthcare experience. We think one of our LinkedIn followers summed it up perfectly when they commented on one of our conference posts – “saving lives – one test at a time.”

Delegates were offered a wide variety of sessions over the two and half days of the conference, including presentations from several distinguished international speakers.

The first day’s plenary session saw Dr Ian Barnes, Chair of NHS England’s Pathology Quality Assurance Review Board, speak on the findings and recommendations following the UK Pathology Quality Assurance Review. A passionate speaker, it was clear Dr Barnes felt very strongly that a value-based and targeted approach within a distributed and integrated model of pathology services would help deliver the transformation required in healthcare. However, one point he did stress was that value was not about dollars and cents, but what could be contributed clinically.

The opening plenary sessions continued with presentations from Dr Don Mackie, Chief Medical Officer for the Ministry of Health on the strategic framework for pathology in New Zealand.  His presentation, though cut short due to time restrictions, offered the attendees an overview of the Ministry’s planned approach to the future of pathology services in New Zealand, framed around three key points – clinical, foundation and outcome. Many of the points highlighted in this presentation closely align with the Sysmex product portfolio key messages around patient safety and the provision of quality patient care – “right care, right place, right result, right time.”

The morning session concluded with Dr Lester Levy, Chairman of Auckland District Health Board and Waitemata District Health Board, who focused on where medical laboratory science fits from an organisation perspective and where it will fit in the future. The key message emphasised by Dr Lester Levy to the audience was to start planning for the future, because the healthcare sector is not immune to the same digital disruption that has impacted the travel, hotel and publishing industries.

Sysmex New Zealand staff also took the opportunity this year to attend several presentations and to connect with many of our customers when they visited the stand. We received some great feedback about the new features in our latest Delphic LIS release, the Delphic AP Single Piece Workflow module, and the exclusive preview of the Eclair Touch phlebotomy app. As a strong supporter of medical laboratory science, we were also pleased that our coffee mugs celebrating the value of medical laboratory scientists proved such a big hit with delegates.

The NZIMLS conference dates have already been set out for 16-19 August 2016. So don’t forget to save the date.

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