by Rebecca Merrett

NSW Health Pathology seeks CIO to improve networks

Sep 25, 20133 mins
Healthcare Industry

NSW Health Pathology is looking for a CIO to create and deliver a five-year strategic plan to improve the organisation’s networks.

This is a new role at NSW Health Pathology, which has only been established for about 10 months. The state-wide clincial organisation is part of the NSW public health system and provides public pathology, forensic and analytical science services across NSW.

The CIO will overlook five specialised networks, which include: Pathology North, Pathology West, South Eastern Area Laboratory Service, Sydney South West Pathology Service, and the Forensic and Analytical Science Service.

The full time position will be based in Newcastle or Sydney, working with pathologists, scientists, technical officers and IT managers across NSW.

NSW Health Pathology’s director of corporate strategy, systems and support, Vanessa Janissen, said the CIO will consolidate and connect laboratory information systems across the organisation’s networks.

“These systems record the details of a patient’s journey when it comes to the pathology tests they receive. It’s vital we’re able to access records quickly and easily, share relevant diagnostic details with treating clinicians, and exchange information across networks to support patient care.

“At the same time we also need to ensure the security of such systems to protect patient confidentiality,” she said.

The CIO will also be involved in maximising the functionalities of the various “quality systems” across the networks. The systems support clinical operations including the policies, procedures and guidelines staff use in their day-to-day work.

“The CIO will work closely with our chief pathologist, our chief medical laboratory scientist and the expert staff across our networks to maximise the potential offered by these systems and support better connectivity between them,” Janissen said.

The CIO will represent the NSW public pathology system in broader state and federal e-health initiatives such as the personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR).

Janissen said the health organisation recently upgraded one of its networks to include chemistry, coagulation and haematology instrumentation across all of its labs.

“These types of instrumentation provide testing for conditions such as hepatitis, HIV, tumour markers, infertility, thyroid function, drug testing, and liver and kidney function,” she said. “It meant that network could deliver quality results more efficiently.”

NSW Health Pathology also recently introduced Next Generation Sequencing, which is used to analyse the characteristics of human genes, and a ‘high end mass spectrometer’, Janissen said.

“This new [Next Generation Sequencing] technology is being used to help screen for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes, for example, which are linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers in some patients.

“The pathologists and scientists involved will be able to increase the number of samples they can test, increase the number of genes they can analyse, reduce the number of manual steps involved, improve turn-around times and achieve better overall throughput with fewer pieces of equipment.

“It also supports parallel testing of many patients and many genes, something which has been difficult previously.

“The ‘high end mass spectrometer’ means we can screen for more than 150 drugs in a single analysis and see results delivered to pathologists in half the time it’s previously taken.”

NSW Health Pathology is offering salary from $139,236 to $152,332. Applications close on 6 October 2013.