- What Should I Expect When I Have a Lab Test?
- Do I Need to Do Anything Special to Prepare for a Lab Test?
- What Forms Do I Need to Take to the Patient Service Center?
- Who Will Report My Test Results to Me?
- How Soon Can I Expect to Receive My Test Results from My Physician?
1. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I HAVE A LAB TEST?
Our Laboratory staff will assist in the collection of a specimen for laboratory testing, or in the processing of specimens that you may be delivering to the Patient Service Center from your home. Specimens that are collected by laboratory staff include blood and urine. You can be assured that our Laboratory staff will make the specimen collection process as safe, quick, and comfortable as possible while safeguarding your dignity and privacy.
Before you visit one of our Patient Service Centers for your test, ask your physician what test is being performed, why the test needs to be done, what you can expect the procedure to be like, when you can expect to hear about your test results, and how the test results will affect the course of your care.
2. DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO PREPARE FOR A LAB TEST?
Sometimes special preparation is required to improve the accuracy of a test. This may involve fasting (not eating any or certain foods) for several hours or even overnight, drinking more or less water than usual, or avoiding certain medications or vitamin and herbal supplements before the test. If you are delivering a specimen to the lab, there might be special instructions for transporting the specimen. Your physician should provide you with written instructions for preparing for your test. Follow those instructions exactly as they are written. If you are not certain if special preparation is required, contact your physician’s office.
If you did not follow the test preparation instructions you received from your physician, let the staff at the specimen collection lab know about this before your specimen is collected.
3.WHAT FORMS DO I NEED TO TAKE TO THE PATIENT SERVICE CENTER?
When visiting a Patient Service Center, you should bring the following information with you:
- The test request form (order) from a health care professional requesting laboratory testing
- A current insurance identification card (Medicare, Private Insurance or HMO/PPO)
- A photo ID for urine drug screens or paternity collections (for example, a driver’s license or employee identification badge)
- Minors must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
If you are bringing a minor to a specimen collection lab and you are not that person’s legal guardian, you will need to bring a notarized statement signed by a parent or legal guardian authorizing you to give permission for the collection and billing of the tests ordered by the minor’s physician.
4. WHO WILL REPORT MY TEST RESULTS TO ME?
The physician who ordered the test or a member of his or her office staff will contact you regarding your test results. Please do not contact the Patient Service Center where your specimen was collected with questions about your test results. If you would like to receive your test results in the mail, notify the staff at the Patient Service Center at the time of specimen collection. You will be asked to complete a short form at that time. Laboratory results will be mailed to you after all ordered tests are completed.
5. HOW SOON CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE MY TEST RESULTS FROM MY PHYSICIAN?
Depending on the complexity of the test being performed, it could take as little time as a few hours to as much as several days before your results are available. Ask your physician how soon he or she expects your test results to be available and how long you should wait before contacting the office if you have not received any news about your test results.