Test Guide & Sample Collection

Test Guide & Sample Collection

Welcome to the New Zealand Healthscope Test Guide, our online tool for laboratory tests. This guide aims to provide clear guidelines for the collection of the majority of laboratory tests.

Click on the link for your required region below and then start typing the required test.

Blood collection information

See below for useful information regarding blood collections:

Order of Draw
(recommended order of drawer for blood collection)

Blood cultures

Swab guides

For more information on swab collection please see our guides here.
(which swab to use for which test)

Labelling criteria

Please note that samples will be discarded if they do not meet our labelling criteria. A minimum of two points of identification (e.g. full name and NHI or DOB) are required on all specimens and forms to meet regulatory requirements.

Confidential requests

In order to provide patient anonymity it is sometimes necessary to use a confidential ID code.  Our recommendation is that you use the universal code as follows:

  • The first two letters of the surname
  • The first letter of the given name
  • M or F (for male/female)
  • The DOB (six numbers)

For example Ann Smith 24/3/64 would be code SMAF240364.

When a code is used the NHI should be omitted, otherwise the system will match up the patient details.

  • If a reference number has been allocated for the patient – write the number in the ‘Drs Ref’ box on the requisition form.
  • If not using the universal code a minimum of four letters or numbers, or a combination of four letters/numbers is required, together with the word “Code”.

SST tubes and centrifugation protocol

Please note: This information is ONLY for sites which hold a Awanui Labs centrifuge (due to distance from the lab).

All bloods taken in SST (Gold) tubes require 30 minutes standing time before centrifugation.

Once the 30 minutes have elapsed, the SST tubes are to be spun in the Centrifuge for 10 minutes at 3500 rpm.

Upon completion of the centrifugation, the specimen is removed and placed in the appropriate biohazard bag, with the requisition form in the pouch, to await collection.

Specimen ON ICE protocol

Place the specimen with a bag of ice (not in the freezer) for transport to the laboratory.

Keep the specimen in the fridge if there is to be a delay before transport.

Some samples may have a “deliver to the laboratory within x hours” requirement. It is recommended that these patients are sent to our collection centres for sample collection.