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Wellington SCL Newsletter
  20th June 2019

Please find the latest information from your laboratory provider Wellington SCL.  In this newsletter we cover:

Please forward this email to all clinical staff
  • 3DHB Funded and Unfunded Laboratory Tests 
  • Annual Laboratory Test Price Increase 
  • Vitamin D Testing protocol is now automated in Eclair e-ordering 
  • Updated Blood Body Fluid Exposure (BBFE) documentation 

3DHB Funded and Unfunded Laboratory Tests

Wellington SCL’s 3DHB laboratory contract specifies which tests are funded and who can order them. Please refer to the attached list of laboratory tests for details of the funding categorisation.

Funded tests are categorised as Tier One and Tier Two tests.  A Tier One test is able to be ordered by any medical practitioner;  a Tier Two test requires the clinician to have appropriate vocational registration or credentialing to be able to order the test.  The vast majority of tests ordered by clinicians are likely to be “core” (Tier One) tests, and / or within the clinician’s vocational scope of practice as a Tier Two Test.  Some Tier Two tests can be ordered as part of the 3DHB Clinical Pathways. This applies mainly in Haematology. An example of this is where all medical practitioners can order serum free light chains as part of the  monitoring of a monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS). In this case, the request form must state “requested according to the MGUS 3D HealthPathway”.
As is usual practice, any medical practitioner or midwife / LMC is able to order a Tier Two test with pre-authorisation by a relevant specialist.  If in doubt, the referrer should consult a relevant pathologist at Wellington SCL for advice and authorisation.
There are a large number of potential tests which are not on the “Funded list” The list of “Unfunded tests” comprises those tests that have been requested but are currently unfunded. Unfunded tests can be ordered but the test & shipping charges (if testing is referred to a specialist overseas lab) will be billed back to the referrer or the DHB clinical service. Applications for unfunded tests to become funded can be made via the laboratory Flexifund. Click here to view this document. 
For any questions please contact
Dr Richard Steele
Medical Director

Annual Laboratory Test Price Increase

From 1st July 2019 there will be a price increase for all commercial laboratory tests offered by the Healthscope network, comprising Labtests, Southern Community Laboratories, Northland Pathology and MedLab South.

The annual price increase rationalises additional commodity costs internationally and also the increasing fuel and business costs domestically.

Please do not hesitate to call or email should you require any further information. 

Phone: 03 474 8341  or Email: 

Click here to view to WSCL 2019 Price Booklet

Vitamin D testing protocol is now automated in Éclair e-ordering.

Vitamin D testing in the wider Wellington region, as in many other areas in New Zealand, has limited to only those patients with an appropriate  clinical indication, since 2010.

The appropriate reason for testing will strong clinical suspicion/evidence that there may be severe Vitamin D deficiency, requiring high dose replacement therapy.  A less common reason will be strong suspicion/evidence of toxicity.  As most people will be vitamin D insufficient in winter, this is not an adequate reason for testing.  Instead consideration should be given to standard vitamin D supplementation, without either prior or follow up testing.  Vitamin D toxicity cannot occur with standard dosing of up to 50,000 IU monthly [1.25mg].

This month, we have automated the ordering of this test at WSCL, by incorporating the appropriate clinical indications into Eclair e-ordering.

The criteria themselves have not changed, just the way this information is communicated, and we hope these prompts will aid referrers in deciding which patients need testing, and which patients can be supplemented without the need for pre or post testing.

Please find our list of appropriate clinical indications, below

Vitamin D testing is performed for the following clinical indications:
  • Unexplained raised serum alkaline phosphatase or low calcium/phosphate
  • Atypical osteoporosis
  • Unexplained bone pain, unusual fractures or other evidence suggesting metabolic bone disease in both adults and children
  • Patients in whom there are other good reasons to suspect SEVERE vitamin D deficiency, e.g. patients with cystic fibrosis, malabsorption, dark skin with other risk factors, some patients with primary hyperparathyriodism, patients on long term medications that may affect bone health or vitamin D levels, such as steroids or anticonvulsants.  
  • Strong clinical suspicion of vitamin D toxicity
If testing is required outside of these criteria, a patient paid option is available.  

Updated Blood Body Fluid Exposure (BBFE) documentation 

The BBFE pack available on our website has been updated.  This pack has been redesigned and is now more simple to use for both requestor and laboratory. 

Click here to view the BBFE Management Pack  
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Wellington SCL 
Level 5, CSB 
Riddiford Street 

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Wellington SCL · Level 5, CSB Block · Riddiford Street, Newtown · Wellington, Wgn 6011 · New Zealand

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