The vetting of certain test requests is designed to ensure that tests are performed appropriately in relation to clinical need and laboratory resources.
The vast majority of LabPLUS tests are available to any registered medical practicioner without the need for approval of a pathologist. However, a small number of tests require prior vetting by a pathologist before being performed. These tests are often expensive and/or prone to being inappropriately requested. The vetting policy applies both to tests done by LabPLUS and tests sent to other laboratories. For some tests, the requirement for pathologist approval is waived for requestors who are specialists in certain disciplines and for certain patient groups.
This policy has been approved by the Clinical Practice Committee and the GP Liaison Committee of the Auckland District Health Board at meetings in April and May 2011.
For tests subject to vetting, the request form will be inspected. In most cases, the test will be approved if a valid clinical indication or justification is written on the request form. Information on valid indications for a test can be found under the specific test in the online LabPLUS Test Guide ( www.labplus.co.nz ).
If a test is declined, a message explaining this will be sent to the requestor, and the sample will be stored for 3 weeks.
Medical practitioners seeking approval for a declined test should contact the on-call pathologist in the department responsible for the test. Contact information is provided in the LabPLUS Test Guide under the test concerned. Email is preferred. In your email, please state the patient's name and NHI number, and the clinical justification for the test. If unable to email, call Lablink (09-3078995), identify yourself as a doctor, and ask for the on-call pathologist in the appropriate department.
No test will be declined if a reasonable clinical justification is made.
Tests which are declined will not be available from labPLUS, irrespective of the patient's willingness to pay for the test. Some of these tests may be offered by private laboratories for payment.
At time of writing, Labtests Auckland (LTA) offers the following tests for payment: vitamin D, DHEAS, homocysteine, lipoprotein(a) and insulin.
A separate request form is required and must contain the words "patient to pay".
Pathologist Approval of Laboratory Tests