Dr Susan Wells



Sue is a Public Health Physician with a background of 10 years as a general practitioner and currently works in Quality Improvement and Health Innovation within the Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is a member of EPIQ (www.epiq.co.nz), an in-house group undertaking postgraduate and undergraduate teaching, research and consultancies in evidence based healthcare, health informatics and quality improvement. Her key research interests are cardiovascular epidemiology, risk communication and patient access to electronic medical records via portals/personal Health records. Since 2002, she has been the clinical project leader of a primary care web-based decision support programme of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management, PREDICT. The content of the programme is based on New Zealand guidelines for cardiovascular risk assessment and management and the management of type 2 diabetes. With Health Research Council funding she is the co-principal investigator of the HRC-PREDICT project that has developed a large CVD risk prediction cohort (>400,000 people) through the use of PREDICT in primary and secondary care services. In 2008, Sue and Dr Andrew Kerr (Head of Cardiology, Middlemore Hospital) designed the Your Heart Forecast tool. With funding by the Heart Foundation, this was developed by IT specialists at Enigma Publishing Limited. This tool supports CVD risk communication between doctors and nurses and their patients using a graphic story.

In 2012/13 Sue was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy and Practice and based at Harvard Medical School/Partners Health Care and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Her US research investigated patient engagement in health and interaction with services via patient portals. These provide patients with secure on-line access to their electronic health records and healthcare team and are new technologies for New Zealand. In 2014, she was appointed e-health Ambassador for patient portals by the Minister of Health.


Research | Current

Research interests

  • primary care
  • Quality improvement
  • Cardiovascular epidemiology
  • Computerised decision support systems
  • Health Informatics: patient portals

Teaching | Current

Academic leader of postgraduate MPH course POPHLTH 724 Quality in Health Care, University of Auckland

5th year medicine:  Quality Improvement, course assessment

6th year medicine: Quality Improvement project in partnership Department of O &G and clinical leaders at eight regional hospitals (Auckland City, Middlemore, NorthShore, Waitakere, Whangarei, Waikato, Rotorua, Tauranga). Assessor of all QI projects.



2014 Minister of Health Appointed e-Health Ambassador for Patient Portals

2012 New Zealand Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy and Practice for 2012/2113

Areas of expertise

  • Clinical epidemiology and evidence-based healthcare
  • Cardiovascular epidemiology
  • Computerised decision support systems
  • Quality improvement
  • Health Informatics: patient portals

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2015 Mentor for University of Auckland Women in Leadership Programme

2014 Senior Advisor to Canterbury District Health Board Patient Portal Project

2014 Chair RNZCGP Expert Advisory Group for Patient Portals

2014  National Heart Foundation Scientific Committee

2013 New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine Education and Training Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Kerr, A. J., Wells, S., Moffitt, A., Lund, M., Kriechbaum, J., Harwood, M., & Jackson, R. (2019). A unified national cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk generator is required to address equity in the management of CVD risk in clinical practice in New Zealand. NEW ZEALAND MEDICAL JOURNAL, 132 (1500), 89-94.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Matire Harwood
  • Kenealy, T., Herd, G., Musaad, S., & Wells, S. (2019). HbA1c screening in the community: Lessons for safety and quality management of a point of care programme. Primary care diabetes, 13 (2), 170-175. 10.1016/j.pcd.2018.11.008
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Timothy Kenealy
  • Kerr, A. J., Lee, M., Jiang, Y., Grey, C., Wells, S., Williams, M., ... Poppe, K. (2019). High level of capture of coronary intervention and associated acute coronary syndromes in the all New Zealand acute coronary syndrome quality improvement cardiac registry and excellent agreement with national administrative datasets (ANZACS-QI 25). The New Zealand medical journal, 132 (1492), 19-29.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rod Jackson, Yannan Jiang, Corina Grey, Katrina Poppe
  • Selak, V., Jackson, R., Poppe, K., Wu, B., Harwood, M., Grey, C., ... Wells, S. (2019). Predicting Bleeding Risk to Guide Aspirin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease A Cohort Study. ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, 170 (6), 357-+. 10.7326/M18-2808
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vanessa Selak, Rod Jackson, Katrina Poppe, Matire Harwood, Corina Grey, Suneela Mehta, Billy Wu
  • Church, E., Poppe, K., Harwood, M., Mehta, S., Grey, C., Selak, V., ... Wells, S. (2019). Relationship between estimated glomerular filtration rate and incident cardiovascular disease in an ethnically diverse primary care cohort. The New Zealand medical journal, 132 (1491), 11-26.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suneela Mehta, Katrina Poppe, Matire Harwood, Corina Grey, Vanessa Selak
  • Selak, V., Jackson, R., Poppe, K., Kerr, A., & Wells, S. (2018). Are the benefits of aspirin likely to exceed the risk of major bleeds among people in whom aspirin is recommended for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease?. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131 (1484), 19-25. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46248
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vanessa Selak, Rod Jackson, Katrina Poppe
  • Mehta, S., Jackson, R., Pylypchuk, R., Poppe, K., Wells, S., & Kerr, A. J. (2018). Development and validation of alternative cardiovascular risk prediction equations for population health planning: a routine health data linkage study of 1.7 million New Zealanders. International journal of epidemiology, 47 (5), 1571-1584. 10.1093/ije/dyy137
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Suneela Mehta, Rod Jackson, Katrina Poppe
  • Jones, P., Athaullah, W., Harper, A., Wells, S., LeFevre, J., Stewart, J., ... Ameratunga, S. (2018). Time to CT head in adult patients with suspected traumatic brain injury: Association with the 'Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments' health target in Aotearoa New Zealand. Injury, 49 (9), 1680-1686. 10.1016/j.injury.2018.05.011
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46032
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Papaarangi Reid, Peter Jones, Elana Curtis, Shanthi Ameratunga

Contact details

Primary office location

TAMAKI BUILDING 730 - Bldg 730
Level 4, Room 450
New Zealand