Grace Information Management Blog


The Business

SEALS (South Eastern Area Laboratory Services) a part of NSW Health Pathology, is a fully accredited, publicly owned ‘not-for-profit’ pathology service, providing high-quality laboratory medicine services 24 hours, 365 days a year to all public hospitals serviced by the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD). SEALS also provides a comprehensive referral service to other hospitals, laboratories and community-based medical practitioners.

NSW Health Pathology:

  • brings together five clinical and scientific networks
  • operates approximately 60+ laboratories
  • has around 200 pathology collection services in NSW public hospitals and community health facilities
  • employs over 4,000 staff
  • conducts more than 61 million tests per year

The Challenge

The lease on two warehouses in Sutherland and Port Kembla were due to finish in April 2016. The warehouses held approximately 3,300 cartons and 40 cubic metres of heavy cabinets which contained important wax specimens. The wax specimens had to be transported and stored at Grace Information and Records Management (GIRM) in Wollongong.

The Process

Due to the value of the business, a tender did not have to be issued by SEALS to procure the services, so quotations were sought from relevant suppliers. GIRM was selected based on their ability to provide a full service at a competitive price. Also key, was GIRM’s flexibility in providing the solution.

The removal and relocation of the cartons from both locations was scheduled to begin at the same time to ensure the completion of the entire relocation by the end of March. The project lead scheduled both sites to start at the exact same time so that the entire job is completed by the end of March.

The bulk of the cartons were in Sutherland and had to be picked and packed by GIRM staff and brought to Campbelltown, in Sydney’s south-west. The cartons in Port Kembla were also picked, packed and transported by GIRM staff to Wollongong for palletisation, then transferred to GIRM Campbelltown.

Due to the weight of the cabinets housing the wax specimens, special transport was required in moving them to Wollongong. Grace Removals vehicles with a tail-lift were brought in for the move.

A cataloguing project then took place for all of the 3,300 cartons capturing the content description at a carton level, together with barcoding of all the cartons.

The Result

SEALS now have all the cartons and wax specimens stored securely across two GIRM sites. They are also compliant with retention and disposal legislation and have a complete records management process in place.

The Future

This is an ongoing process between SEALS and GIRM. Cartons are collected on a monthly basis from various sites and stored in the secure Grace facilities.

Training for SEALS in the use of Grace RSWeb will commence shortly, enabling the client to access storage details and request files online, in real-time.