Highly-automated hospital labs are organized to serve inpatient testing and don’t compete for “outreach” lab business from office-based physicians in the community
DATELINE: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND—In this nation’s single payer health system, clinical laboratory testing services are allotted to hospital laboratories and commercial laboratories in very specific ways. Consequently, hospital laboratories in New Zealand tend to provide testing primarily for inpatients and for outpatients seen by specialists who practice within the hospital’s facilities.
This is an interesting distinction which sets New Zealand hospital laboratories apart from hospital labs in such countries as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia. In each of these countries, it is common for hospital laboratories to provide some laboratory testing to the outpatient and outreach sector, particularly to primary care clinics and office-based specialist physicians.