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November 2014

Best Tests

The New Zealand Laboratory Schedule and Test Guidelines: genetic tests

The New Zealand Laboratory Schedule provides clinicians with consistent guidance when considering requesting laboratory tests. It will ensure the uniform availability of tests across District Health Boards (DHBs) in the future. Tests are divided into Tier 1, which all referrers can order, and Tier 2, meaning that the test must be ordered in conjunction with another health professional with a particular area of expertise. In addition, clinical guidance is provided on the use of some tests. In this article, with the assistance of Dr Joanne Dixon (leader of the Laboratory Schedule genetic subgroup), we focus on the genetic tests in the Schedule. View Article

Genetic Health Services New Zealand (GHSNZ): What you need to know

Genetic Health Services New Zealand (GHSNZ) provides expert genetic advice, counselling and diagnostic services to patients and health professionals throughout the country. Many patients are referred to GHSNZ by a secondary care service. However, general practitioners can assist in this process by ensuring that patients who may require genetic testing receive appropriate referral, as well as discussing possible implications and limitations of genetic testing with the patient, and coordinating multidisciplinary care. In order to optimise the use of genetic testing in New Zealand we asked Dr Caroline Lintott, Senior Genetic Associate and Team Leader at GHSNZ, to provide input on how this can be done. View Article

Exposure to body fluids: keeping the primary healthcare team safe

Providing a safe working environment involves both minimising the risk of transmission of infectious pathogens and dealing with exposures after they have occurred. Exposure to body fluids is one of the major occupational hazards faced by healthcare workers. Effective use of standard precautions, including hand hygiene and personal protective equipment, is the best way to protect healthcare workers from infectious pathogens. However, even strict adherence to standard precautions will only minimise the infection risk and dealing effectively with any potential exposures, e.g. needlestick injuries, if they occur is vital in protecting healthcare workers. View Article