Australians living in rural and remote areas experience a significantly higher burden of acute care episodes compared to those living in metropolitan and urban areas. A contributing factor is the effect of geographical isolation and its impact on access to health services including pathology testing. We aim to assess the benefits of using point-of-care testing at remotely located health centres of the Northern Territory. Point-of-care testing enables pathology testing to be performed on-site, with results available during the patient consultation. We will investigate the clinical benefits of using point-of-care testing to either rule-out a potential acute medical problem, stabilise an acutely ill patient, and/or to confirm an emergency medical evacuation is required for patient care. The project will also determine the cost savings associated with point-of-care testing preventing unnecessary emergency medical retrievals, which come at a high cost to the Northern Territory Government.READ MORE
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