The delivery times of South Australian COVID-19 testing results are said to be improved after an IT glitch kept some people waiting up to a week for results.
SA Pathology’s clinical lead Tom Dodd said the laboratory was working through almost 6000 specimens a day, with the majority of people receiving their SMS results between 48 to 72 hours after testing.
“We’re making some further efficiency in automation which will improve the percentage of people getting an automated SMS,” he said.
“The IT department are making changes (and) I expect those to be in place in the next couple of days.
“In the meantime, we’re phoning through results. We’re getting those out as fast as possible.”
Dr Dodd said a team of up to 50 people were making those calls to speed up the process.
“I want the system to work perfectly 100 per cent of the time, and I understand the anxiety and frustration if you’re waiting on a result,” he said.
“Any positives are immediately phoned through to the Communicable Disease Control Branch and people will be contacted within a very short period of time.”
The SA Opposition said recent cuts to SA Pathology may have impacted testing results.
Opposition health spokesman Chris Picton said the delays needed to be fixed immediately to ensure it did not dissuade people from being tested.
However, Health Minister Stephen Wade said the reforms meant the service was well equipped for the pandemic.
“I believe it is the new SA Pathology that has really helped SA succeed in this pandemic so far (and) is doing an amazing job in ramping up technology,” Mr Wade said.
“There have been minor issues within the framework, and part of the complexity is the strength of the public health response.
“(The glitch) relates to the fact SA Pathology is being asked by SA Health to do two tests in the first 14 days (for people entering SA) which is not being done in other states because their program is not as strong as ours.”
Dr Dodd said efficiency and test turnaround times had improved despite the cuts in September 2019 prior to the pandemic.
Testing ramped up this week after a new drive-through station was set up at Victoria Park in the CBD.
The state recorded no new cases on Tuesday, with its total remaining at 459.
There are eight active cases.