Sysmex helps New Zealand tackle testing surge amidst COVID-19 Delta outbreak
Surge in testing volumes due to New Zealand’s ongoing Delta outbreak prompted immediate response from the nation’s COVID-19 testing and surveillance teams, to deliver rapid turnover of test results and strengthened IT systems in efforts to combat the spread of the virus.
NZ laboratories performing COVID-19 PCR testing have the capacity to process over 40,000 samples daily. This can be attributed to the fully digitised system set up for COVID-19 test ordering, collection, results delivery, and reporting – underpinned by a suite of digital solutions developed by Sysmex.
Within the first two weeks of the Delta outbreak, over 100,000 COVID-19 tests were being processed through the national ESR Eclair repository. Behind the scenes, the digital health team at Sysmex worked closely with the Ministry of Health and ESR technical team to fine-tune the Eclair database, ensuring reliable flow of data at the level seen during the Delta surge.
Testing facility locations were doubled in a bid to increase coverage across the country, with 75 new Community Testing Centres set up as of mid-October. In response Sysmex supported the teams involved with system set up across the testing network. Further work is underway providing enhancements to the Eclair Touch app, utilised by our frontline healthcare workers throughout the swab collection process at testing sites.
The Sysmex LIS team also sustained strong momentum, assisting labs with managing high volumes of COVID-19 specimens being received electronically into the Delphic LIS for processing.
Having the paperless system established, has proved crucial for alleviating pressure on NZ labs. Reduced processing times from three minutes a swab to around 30 seconds has reportedly saved labs 4000+ hours since the emergence of Delta in the community.
With great progress being made each day, we are proud to acknowledge the dedicated work of our digital health team. Giving New Zealand a fighting chance to beat the outbreak.