New projects bringing good benefits

(Aotea News, November 2010)

Dr Karen Wood
Aotea Pathology
Chief Executive

It is tempting to think that — as we publish this, the last Aotea News for 2010, and with Christmas rapidly approaching — our work would be winding down for the year. However, the next few months promise to be an exciting and busy period for Aotea Pathology.

A key development that we are very excited about is our electronic lab ordering system for laboratory test requests. A trial of the system is underway at three local surgeries.

The system lets you enter a patient’s test request and medical information in an electronic form then securely and automatically sends the information to Aotea Pathology’s laboratory computer system.

The system promises to make the information we receive from you more accurately recorded and more quickly received. That will bring benefits to you, your patients and to the staff at Aotea Pathology.

We look forward to rolling out the new system to more referrers next year, and you can read more about it in this newsletter. Another project we have been working on recently — timed tags on specimens — has also given us big improvements in our work. It has given our staff a good deal of professional satisfaction in being able to provide a better service to you.

Specimens are prioritised according to the time the sample was taken.

How has this helped? Well, during the past winter, for example, the laboratory was initiating, on average, 10 or more recollections per week of blood specimens for potassium tests — this was unusual.

Along with several other key improvements, the use of timed tags has seen this number drop to near zero. You can find out more about this inside this newsletter.

The other development we are excited about is our new website that we hope to launch in the New Year. The site has been some time in the making as we have juggled our priorities over the year, but I am pleased to report it is nearly there.

The reason I am pleased is that the site has greatly improved navigation, making it very easy to find information; and regularly updated clinical and patient-related resources will be a feature of the site.

The site will include all back issues of this newsletter so you have an easily searchable online resource to refer to without having to read through hard copies to find the information you need.

A key aim for us is to make the website a tool that helps you gain good professional knowledge of how and where pathology benefits your practice.

Keep an eye on www.apath.co.nz during January for the new site.

Thanks very much to all the referrers who completed our electronic survey. The information we have received is very useful to us in planning for the coming year and beyond to deliver services that help you deliver better medical services to your patients.

After completing the survey, Dr Michelle Wilson from Victoria University, Student Health won the medical book voucher and Dr Sally Wood from Upper Hutt Medical Centre won the practice morning tea.

We publish the next edition of Aotea News around March next year. So, until then, have a very Happy Christmas and an enjoyable New Year’s break.