Journal article

Newborn bloodspot screening in the time of COVID-19

Ronda F Greaves, James Pitt, Candice McGregor, Meaghan Wall, John Christodoulou

Genetics in Medicine | SPRINGERNATURE | Published : 2021


PURPOSE: A COVID-19 pandemic business continuity plan (BCP) was rapidly developed to protect the Victorian newborn screening (NBS) program. Here, we present the outcomes of our COVID-19 BCP and its impact on the Victorian NBS laboratory service. METHODS: Change management principles were used to develop a BCP that included mapping of NBS processes against staff resources, triaging priorities, technology solutions, supply chain continuity, gap analysis, and supporting maternity service providers. The effect was assessed quantitatively by review of key performance indicator data and qualitatively from staff feedback. RESULTS: A four-stage BCP was implemented. Stage 1 split teams into two, whic..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We are grateful for the support of Biochemical Genetics Staff, VCGS, and Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Leadership Teams. Research conducted at the MCRI was supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program. We are also appreciative of the solidarity and support of our sister laboratories across Australia and New Zealand. Throughout the early stages of the pandemic, Australasian NBS laboratories supported each other via fortnightly teleconferences organized by the NBS National Program Management Committee. These meetings were helpful in providing updates on supply chain issues, NBS management strategies during the pandemic, and sharing data from samples collected earlier than the recommended screening times. The Victorian Newborn Bloodspot Screening Program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria.