NSW Health will automate the delivery of COVID-19 pathology results to patients who test negative using an SMS system developed with Amazon Web Services, Deloitte, Microsoft and Mulesoft.
Premier Gladys Berejilkian announced the new opt-in SMS notification service on Tuesday to halve the notification period for results and ease pressure on hospital and pathology staff.
“We are able to test 5000 patients per day, and while testing for COVID-19 only takes six to eight hours from the arrival of the sample at one of our specialist labs, the sheer volume has meant we haven’t been able to get results to patients quickly,” she said.
“Using our new statewide SMS notification solution, patients who register will receive an automated SMS test result within six hours of the completion of the laboratory test.”
The service, which is expected to roll out across the state over the coming weeks, will deliver negative results to patients who are tested at a public hospital or fever clinic.
It has already been piloted in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health Districts and Wollongong, Shellharbour and Shoalhaven Fever Clinics.
While the service will allow clinicians to allot more time to patients who test positive, customer service minister Victor Dominello said the service would also reduce anxiety for patients.
“Testing clinics are receiving thousands of calls from patients enquiring about their test results, which also puts increasing pressure on the health system,” he said.
“By opting in to receive a text, patients can be informed of a negative result faster.”
NSW has one of the highest COVID-19 testing rates in the world to date, with more than 142,000 people tested and cleared since the pandemic began.
The government is also working to improve the Service NSW to provide citizens with real-time updates on COVID-19, as well as personalised health and non-health advice.