Talking about communication

Karen Wood

(Aotea News, April 2012)

Karen Wood, Wellington SCL chief executive

Welcome to the first edition of Aotea News for 2012. We plan to bring you three editions this year, as well as two editions of our new publication Aotea Clinical Update, which has a focus on longer clinical and medical articles.

Keeping you regularly up to date with clinical and practice information is important to us to help provide you with current knowledge to make the best use of our services.

Your feedback is important too, and we are very happy to hear back from you on any issues we publish, so please do get in touch if you’d like to discuss anything further. One communication area we’d Iike to work on with you this year is in the completion of Request Forms.

The more detailed and accurate the information on the forms, the quicker we can get results out to you. Full clinical details, putting in the lab requestor code and writing legibly can all help us achieve that. We have
further information in an article in this edition.

If your practice is in Karori or Upper Hutt, you may have seen our new collection rooms. Both sets of rooms have a lot of extra space, light and privacy, and this is proving hugely beneficial in helping our staff improve the way they deliver services. Patients, too, are noticeably more comfortable in the new surroundings.

We will soon be making improvements to our Johnsonville and Newtown rooms to continue a process that will soon see nearly half our collection rooms upgraded -- with more to come later in the year.

This month, we are very pleased to introduce a new immunopathologist at Aotea -- Marianne Empson. Dr Empson is covering for Richard Steele while he is on leave until July. She is providing cover at both Aotea and the Capital & Coast District Health Board (DHB) hospital lab.

If you need to get hold of Dr Empson, email with “Immunology” in the subject line.

Please also include the lab number or NHI of the patient you are querying about. Relevant clinical details and your cellphone number for direct phone contact are also needed. In fact, similar such emails can be a useful way to get non-urgent information from all our pathologists.

Or, for more direct contact, the cellphone numbers of our pathologists are on our website. At, go to About Us > Our People.