New Zealand health reform looks to leverage proven national solutions



X-Lab supports new Zealand health reform

X-Lab supports New Zealand’s health interoperability reform

 On July 1 2022, the New Zealand government dismantled the 20 District Health Boards to create Te Whatu Ora, a new national health service aiming to improve access, enhance equity, empower consumers and improve health outcomes, whilst managing costs.

Staff shortages and growing demands are increasingly driving the focus to identifying digital solutions to supplement the existing clinical workforce and enable services to be delivered in new, more productive and cost-efficient ways.

Drawing upon UK’s digital health and interoperability success

The New Zealand government’s “Simply to Unify” approach aims to:

  • Identify and concentrate future investment in national tactical solutions – those with a significant existing footprint that are proven to meet NZ requirements
  • Improving data quality and standardisation
  • The use of API standard such as FHIR to enable more effective data sharing, analysis

X-Lab welcomes this approach and is excited to play a role in demonstrating how easy healthcare interoperability can be achieved for the benefit of organisations, staff, consumers, and government.

World’s first system-agnostic Pathology Exchange Network

Since 2007, X-Lab has provided a National Pathology Exchange (NPEx) across the UK. NPEx, now known worldwide as Labgnostic, allows laboratories to connect through a single hub enabling test requests and pathology results to be sent digitally between labs in a matter of seconds – irrespective of the in-house LIMS.

Prior to the pandemic, about 60% of UK laboratories used Labgnostic. During the pandemic, the UK government awarded X-Lab a contract to connect additional laboratories, to help facilitate faster and more accurate pathology services for coronavirus testing demands. Labgnostic now services 95% of UK laboratories and during the pandemic processed over 300 million Covid-19 tests. 

Labgnostic well placed to support HIRA

Te Whatu Ora is particularly passionate about Hira – a national platform that will allow patients to access their summary health information in one place – including the medicines they are on, vaccinations they have had and their lab results. Labgnostic is well placed to support this national initiative as it could help normalise lab results for direct transmission to Hira.

Labgnostic now available across New Zealand

X-Lab is now pleased to make Labgnostic available to laboratories across New Zealand, Australia and the Asia-Pacific for both Lab2Lab referrals and Quality Assurance Programs. Labgnostic meets the Simply-to-Unify aims of the New Zealand government:

  • A proven solution, operating as a national pathology exchange in the UK
  • Highly compatible and flexible for the needs of New Zealand laboratories
  • Drives and delivers improvements in data standardisation
  • Ability to use HL7 and emerging FHIR standards for electronic sharing of health data

Operational, clinical and financial benefits

The proven benefits of Labgnostic include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced manpower costs
  • Less paper usage and postage costs
  • Removal of unnecessary repeat tests and procedures
  • Elimination of data entry and transcription errors
  • Increased quality and compliance
  • Faster result turnaround times
  • Increased patient safety and care outcomes
  • Enhanced patient experience with better access to their own data
  • More accurate collection and analysis of health data

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Article authored by:
Anne Sørensen

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