The mission of Lab Tests Online is to provide a comprehensive, accurate, dynamic, and up-to-date website to inform the public about clinical laboratory testing. The scientific content on this site is developed and updated in accordance with established editorial policies.
Lab Tests Online’s core content is based on current scientific literature and the expertise and practical experience of the Lab Tests Online medical and scientific experts and, as needed, external experts in specific areas of medicine.
Lab Tests Online has recruited experts from several premier laboratory and medical institutions for the Medical Review Board. These medical professionals help develop and maintain the scientific core content. Members are clinical laboratory directors, administrators, managers, PhD scientists, academic instructors, technical specialists, clinical laboratory scientists, physicians (including pathologists) and other healthcare providers. To ensure appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge of the Medical Review Board, Lab Tests Online recruits members with expertise that ranges from general laboratory and medical fields to specialties, such as hematology, clinical chemistry, genetics, infectious diseases and endocrinology, to name a few. While diverse, the Medical Reviewers share a commitment to promoting better health by improving patient education and health literacy.
We aim to provide information that is understandable to the general public. The primary audience is patients and their caregivers, family, and friends. This site seeks to educate patients and caregivers about specific laboratory tests and issues related to testing, helping them have more informed discussions with their healthcare providers and play an active role in their medical care.
Our goal is to provide clear communication for a diverse audience that encompasses people with different educational backgrounds and with varying degrees of health literacy. The content is written in lay language that is easy to read and understand. We recognize that writing for the public about health issues must take into account various perspectives based on age, gender, sex, economics, culture, behavior, and community. On this site, we use language that acknowledges the nonbinary nature of sex and gender. We also use people-first language that puts the person before the disability or condition, and describes what a person has, not who a person is.
We also aim for a balanced approach; where there are differing views and little or no consensus about testing, we present each side of the discussion so that Lab Tests Online users can be better informed when making decisions about their care.
Gender Inclusive Language
Lab Tests Online uses gender inclusive language with the intention of being respectful, accurate, and unbiased towards the groups and individuals who are being described. Our goal is to ensure that readers can find health information that is relevant to their identities and experiences.
We take the approach of using language that includes trans, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and intersex people in addition to gendered language. This means we use gendered or gender neutral language as well as terms that describe shared anatomical features or physical conditions of the group that is being described.
Lab Tests Online is constantly working to refine our language and resources to achieve our goals of accessibility and inclusivity while providing high-quality, evidence-based information. This includes the process of updating existing content to reflect the most up-to-date health information and the principles of this editorial policy.
The information provided on Lab Tests Online is aimed at improving patient outcomes by providing people with the information they need to be active participants in their care and to engage their healthcare providers in informed discussions that will result in positive health outcomes. Patients who are well-informed and -educated about their own health and the related decisions they face have an advantage in ensuring that their priorities regarding testing are taken into account so as to improve their personal health outcomes.
While the information on Lab Tests Online is intended to aid patients in becoming well-informed, the content is meant to supplement, not replace, the guidance provided by doctors and other healthcare providers. We encourage you to discuss your preferences and decisions about medical lab tests as well as your test results with your doctor. A healthcare provider who understands your preferences and knows your personal, family, and medical history is an essential resource when seeking advice and making decisions about your health and medical care.
Peer-Reviewed for Trustworthy Information
All scientific core content is reviewed and approved by medical experts. The Lab Tests Online staff or the Medical Review Board may refer some content for review by external laboratory or medical professionals who have a particular expertise, but members of the Medical Review Board have final approval of the content. Editorial decisions are made by the Medical Review Board and Lab Tests Online staff and are independent of funding considerations.
Relevant and Timely Content
Lab Tests Online strives to provide the latest information on lab testing by routinely developing and adding new content. Sources for new topics include recommendations from the Medical Review Board, the Partner Advisory Board and other experts, Lab Tests Online user and other stakeholder requests, and data on frequency of user searches on the internet. When prioritizing topics for addition to the site, criteria and considerations include level of user interest in a test, test availability, whether the test has widespread acceptance in clinical practice, and whether the test is recommended in the guidelines of established authorities.
To ensure timely content, all existing scientific content on the site is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. This ensures that it is current with the latest research, technology, policies, and practice. Rapid developments in the science, technology, policy, and/or practice related to a specific test may sometimes require that a page undergo frequent updates (e.g., changes in screening guidelines).
Content Creation and Review Process
All scientific content is produced by a team of science and technical writers who thoroughly research the topics and write the articles. Similarly, existing content is first reviewed by science writers who perform research for the latest information on the topic and update the pages accordingly, citing the sources used in the updates.
Article drafts are submitted to editors who review them for readability, accuracy, completeness and compliance with health literacy guidelines. They also ensure that the scope of each page is appropriate for the audience. An expert from the Medical Review Board assures that the information provided in the article is scientifically accurate. If there are competing views on a topic, the Medical Reviewer ensures that the article provides a balanced view. Some articles with complex topics or extensive updating and revision may require an extra layer of review, and more rigorous evaluation by subject matter experts from the Medical Review Board.
Because laboratory science continues to evolve, in some cases, quite rapidly, we require that the most current sources possible are used when preparing new articles or updating existing articles. Experts on specific topics may be consulted when the current literature is inconclusive. We use peer-reviewed sources and other reputable resources, including but not limited to journal articles, medical texts, and online health information sites. We are transparent about the resources used in the development and review of content by documenting them at the end of each article and providing links to the originals where applicable.
Links to External Sites
For the convenience of Lab Tests Online readers, we provide links to external reputable websites. Lab Tests Online is not responsible for the content on those sites. All external links listed in Lab Tests Online articles as resources and in citations are included because the webpages to which they link are contextually relevant and considered to be from well-regarded resources. Links are periodically checked to determine if they still function and go to the relevant content.
Anyone may suggest a link to us, but it will only be added to the site if it is determined to be relevant to Lab Tests Online users in the context of a given topic and considered to be a credible source. Links to resources are listed in the Sources of a page if they are used in the development or review of a given article.
We take user feedback seriously. If you tell us that some part of the information on this site is wrong, or if something is not sufficiently clear, we will review the section of content in question and take steps to modify it if the medical reviewer agrees that the information was incorrect or unclear. Likewise, if you alert us that a link is not working, we will promptly fix it – and we appreciate you letting us know. To provide feedback, please Contact Us.