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Research and innovation winners at NSW Health Awards

A world first test to identify which influenza patients will need urgent, life-saving treatment and an innovative project to give patients a voice during the nursing shift handover have won awards at the 19th Annual NSW Health Awards.

The two Awards for the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District were presented by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard at Sydney Olympic Park.

The Health Research and Innovation Award went to a NBMLHD team who developed a world-first High-risk Influenza Screen Test (HIST) to detect an ‘early warning signal’ in the patient’s blood that ‘kick starts’ their immune system to fight the infection.

The test, developed by Dr Benjamin Tang from Nepean Hospital, needs only a single drop of blood and a few hours to predict, with 91 percent accuracy, which influenza patients will develop potentially deadly secondary infections, such as pneumonia.

Previously doctors could only detect influenza infection but didn’t know which patients would be at risk of rapid deterioration.

The High-risk Influenza Screen Test runs on equipment already available in most pathology laboratories and is the first patent granted to Nepean Hospital.

NBMLHD HIST research team

The NBMLHD HIST research receive their Award (Photo: Salty Dingo)

Winning the category, Patients as Partners, The Patient’s Voice project led by NBMLHD Nurse Manager Kim Maddock empowers patients to provide feedback to staff and guide the discussion during the shift handover at 2pm each day.

The project is now being rolled out to other hospitals in the LHD after a successful pilot at Nepean Hospital in the Neurology and Gastroenterology wards decreased clinical incidents and increased patient involvement in their care.

NSW Health Awards Patient Voice team

The NBMLHD Patient Voice project team receive their Award (Photo: Salty Dingo)

NBMLHD Board Chair, Peter Collins, says the Awards highlight the significant contribution our staff are making to healthcare.

“I am proud of the innovation and research breakthroughs our staff are delivering not just for the patients in our region but worldwide,” says Mr Collins.

“Winning two prestigious NSW Health Awards recognises our commitment to improving our services and the health outcomes for our community through bold new programs based on rigorous clinical evidence.

“I congratulate Dr Benjamin Tang, Kim Maddock and their teams on their well-deserved awards.”

Ends

31 October 2017

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