THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Aotea Pathology is recognised as a world class provider of community pathology services. It currently operates under a DHB contract, which was extended for an additional three years on 1 November 2011. During a recent compliance audit by the DHB, reference was made to the excellent culture of quality and continuous improvement which is embedded within the whole organisation.
A number of new initiatives brought additional challenges for staff in 2012, as management focused on the contract rollover, reviewed a number of testing platforms and continued to roll out the Electronic Test Ordering system (eLab) across the region.
eLab helps the clinician identify and order the most appropriate tests, enter test requests directly into Aotea’s system, and at the same time get information for the patient to ensure they are properly prepared for their specific tests. This was officially launched by the Hon Tony Ryall, the Minister of Health, in September 2011 and is now being rolled out across the Wellington region.
While the three year contract extension has provided some short term certainty for the business, there is no certainty on how pathology services will be delivered after this time. The single most important objective over future months is to work with the DHBs to establish the future model for laboratory services for the region.
In the short term, management will be exploring opportunities to enhance the service to users, particularly through electronic test ordering and online result enquiry. In other aspects of the business, Aotea Pathology will be in a holding pattern until there is future contract certainty.