We use the latest evidence and advanced technology to provide you with the tests you need. We communicate the result to you promptly and explain what it means.
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We use lab tests to help measure your general state of health; to check if you have an infection; to see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are working; and to screen for certain genetic conditions. The most common laboratory test is a blood test. Other lab tests include urine, tissue, microbiology, or cell samples.
When you visit us, we will talk with you about what tests we recommend and why. When a lab test is requested, the doctor who orders the test must interpret the test results. If the doctor thinks the test is unnecessary or could harm your health, or that the result may not be able to be clearly interpreted, they have the right not to order the test for you. Requesting too many lab tests is called “over testing” and as well as causing unnecessary stress on you, can also overwhelm the testing laboratory.
We may take a sample at the clinic, or you may need to visit a Medlab South collection centre. The doctor, nurse or technician will check with you what your visit is for, what will happen, and how you will be kept safe during the procedure. Some people feel nervous about having blood taken. The person taking the sample is trained in this procedure, and it is nearly always straightforward.
Once your sample is taken it is sent to the lab for analysis. It can take time for the results to be sent back to us. Once we have the results we then need to carefully check them. Recognizing the significance of test results, the context in which the results are set or any concerning or unexpected results is a complex and important task. We use all our experience and training to help interpret test results, following evidence based best practice medicine.
Your test results are important. We will communicate results to you in a timely, clinically appropriate and meaningful manner. During your visit we will give you information about our procedure for notification of test results, and how we will let you know. We keep a record of our communication with you regarding us informing you about test results.
We have policies dealing with how laboratory results, imaging reports, investigations and clinical correspondence are managed. We identify and track potentially significant investigations and urgent referrals.
In most cases there is no cost for a laboratory test if we request the test for you. We also interpret the results, add them to your records, and contact you to discuss the results. If you are over 16 years of age you may self-request certain tests. In this case, you have to pay the cost of the test. We do not have information on these costs, these are obtained directly from the laboratory.