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Wellington SCL Newsletter
11th October 2019 

(Please forward on to your clinical staff) 

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

  • Improvements to paperless e-order system following PHO feedback  
  • Introduction of iLab Alpha thalassaemia ICT Test
  • Ordering of laboratory consumables 
  • Reminder - annual customer survey

Improvement to paperless e-order system following PHO feedback

We have received PHO feedback regarding suggesting improvements to our paperless lab test e-order system.

From November 2019 all lab e-orders placed on an individual patient over the preceding 6 months will be clearly displayed to WSCL Phlebotomy staff in our IT system. This will specifically address :
  1. Current issues for WSCL phlebotomy staff when searching for paperless lab test e-orders placed by a GP in the time period between the patient leaving the GP’s consultation and the patient presenting at a WSCL collection centre for a blood test.
  2. Current issues for WSCL phlebotomy staff when searching for paperless lab test e-orders from multiple referrers caring for the same patient.
No change is required from the GP end i.e. you can continue to place e-orders in the way you currently do.

Introduction of iLab Alpha thalassaemia ICT Test - Monday 14th October 

Alpha thalassaemia is an inherited disorder where a deletion of any or all four of the alpha globin genes can occur. Patients may be carriers and therefore asymptomatic, through to transfusion dependent anaemias and with four genes deleted; incompatibility with life. Our current laboratory method for detecting alpha thalassaemia is searching for red cell inclusions called HbH bodies. This method is not standardised across laboratories and the sensitivity and specificity is low, resulting in numerous patients reported without a definitive diagnosis as ‘cannot exclude alpha thalassemia’. The introduction of the iLab Alpha thalassaemia ICT could bridge the gap for these patients.

The test is an immunochromatographic strip test developed from monoclonal antibodies against Hb Bart’s, which is found in a small amount in the RBC’s of alpha thalassaemia carriers. Published data shows the ICT has a sensitivity of 76%, compared to 24% with the HbH body detection method.  It should be noted that the ICT will not be reported in patients with a haemoglobin variant (e.g. HbE, HbS etc), in Haemoglobin Constant Spring, and in babies <8 months old. These situations cause interferences with the ICT. Patients with alpha thalassaemia and co-existing beta thalassaemia may exhibit false negatives. However, we state that alpha thalassaemia cannot be excluded in these patients. In conjunction with the RBC indices, the kit has proven suitable for the screening and detection of two gene deletion alpha  thalassaemia (alpha0) carriers in large populations. The detection of alphathalassaemia can aid in the prevention of four gene deletion alpha thalassemia (Hb Bart’s disease), an alpha thalassaemia that is incompatible with life.”
Joanne Meredith
Second in Charge,
Haematology Department 
Wellington SCL 

Ordering of laboratory consumables

The WSCL Stores team is responsible for the purchase and distribution of laboratory supplies to approximately 150 medical centres, private hospitals, rest homes and also our 29 collection centres across the greater Wellington region.
To place an order please visit our website  
Our direct phone number is 04 471 0880.  Please note we are unable to take supply orders over the phone. Due to the nature of the warehouse environment we may not always be available to answer. If it is an urgent request, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Generally, orders will be processed and delivered within three working days so please ensure you order your supplies in time before you run out of stock.
To assist us with the efficient processing of your order, please try to place one order per week for all required stock, as placing multiple smaller orders may cause delays.
Occasionally due to supplier issues, there may be a delay in the supply of some items. In this instance, we will place a note with your supplies to advise, and your out of stock items will be placed on back order and delivered as soon as stock becomes available.
Also, some stock may have a short expiry date – this is out of our control but if you reorder a couple of days prior to expiry we will then send new stock as soon as it is available.
For any technical information required, please check the Pathology Test Guide or the Swab Identification Chart on our website.
Please note that laboratory request forms are printed and processed by the laboratory.  Please phone the Call Centre on 04 381 5900 who will be able to assist you if you haven't received the request form order within 10 working days.

Reminder - annual customer survey

If you haven't participated in the survey already, it is still open.   Please follow the link to complete.  The survey is an opportunity to confirm what we are doing well and to identify any areas for improvement. 

All completed survey replies go into the draw for one of two separately drawn prizes of a $200 medical magazine subscription of your choice , or morning tea for your practice, to go into the draw don’t forget to give your name and the name of your practice.
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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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