HEALTH services in South Gippsland are setting the standard for hospitals across Victoria by adopting an improved way of delivering patient care and safety.

Monash Health Pathology has joined with Bass Coast Health, Gippsland Southern Health Service, South Gippsland Hospital, and Yarram and District Health Service to develop a new initiative that fast-tracks diagnosis and treatment of patients.

The milestone advances come after Monash Health Pathology became the pathology provider to the sub-regional health services last year.

Monash Health Pathology has gained national accreditation for the innovative i-STAT devices that test a patient’s blood by their bedside, resulting in a high-quality, safe, testing environment at each health facility.

The accreditation, recently provided by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia, guarantees the devices are reliable and accurate, and ensures staff have been adequately trained in how to use the devices.

The accreditation is of the same level that equipment in a pathology laboratory is subject to.

Testing blood by a patient’s bedside enables faster turnaround of pathology results, giving clinicians the information they need to make quicker decisions about a patient’s care.

A pathology test will even detect if a patient has experienced a cardiac arrest.

“If someone has had a heart attack, the quicker it’s treated, the better the outcome is going to be,” said Monash Health Pathology senior scientist Stephen Griffiths.

The i-STAT devices are at Wonthaggi Hospital’s emergency department, Phillip Island Health Hub at Cowes, South Gippsland Hospital at Foster, and hospitals at Korumburra, Leongatha and Yarram.