New South Wales (NSW) Health Pathology is implementing one of the world's largest managed PoCT services across rural and remote Emergency Departments (EDs) in New South Wales, Australia to improve patient access to care. The aim of this qualitative study was to gain a context-rich understanding of the operational impact of the NSW rollout of PoCT across rural and remote ED settings as experienced by frontline clinical staff. Clinical professionals (n=14) participated in interviews and focus groups in August 2015 at four rural and remote NSW EDs. Participants perceived that PoCT provided greater access to pathology thus facilitating more efficient and effective patient care via faster test turnaround and time to treatment and more effective decisions about the need to transfer patients to appropriate sites when required. These factors have a potentially important role in saving lives. Staff also identified innovative and disruptive challenges to clinical work patterns associated with PoCT implementation, particularly in relation to work flows, resource allocation and the governance arrangements.
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