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Lab Tests Online is designed to help you, the patient or caregiver, understand the what, why, and how of laboratory testing. To access the primary resources on this website, you can go to the full listings below:

 
 

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In-depth Feature Articles

To learn more about laboratory medicine in general and gain a greater understanding of how laboratory testing can impact your healthcare, read the following in-depth articles. These patient resources are intended to help you navigate the testing process, provide context for the tests that you may have done and give you a better understanding of your test results.

Find out what happens to your throat swab as you follow the steps of a throat culture in a laboratory.
Ever wonder what happens to your blood sample once it's been collected? Find out as you follow a blood sample through the laboratory.
A reference range is a set of values that includes upper and lower limits of a lab test based on a group of otherwise healthy people. By comparing your test results with reference values, you and your healthcare provider can see if any of your test results fall outside the range of expected values and gain clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases.
People now have direct access to their laboratory test results. Learn how to read your laboratory report so that you can better understand your results and have an informed discussion with your healthcare practitioner.
This article provides explanations of three key terms, health outcomes, evidence-based medicine and patient-centered care and their contributions to improving healthcare and, more specifically, healthcare as practiced through laboratory medicine. Understanding these terms may help you to discuss your testing options with your healthcare practitioner and make informed choices to improve your care.
Laboratory testing is performed in many different settings, from the large reference lab to your own home. As we learn to take a more active role in our medical care, a clear understanding of what happens when our blood or urine or other body fluid specimen is sent "off to the lab" will help us to become more knowledgeable participants in our own healthcare.
One of the most important factors in determining the accuracy and reliability of your lab test is you, the patient. It is essential that you follow instructions, if there are any, to prepare for the specific test you are having performed to ensure that the results will be useful and interpreted correctly by your healthcare practitioner.
Learn about the roles and qualifications of the many skilled professionals who work in clinical laboratories, including technologists, pathologists, and other laboratorians.
Sometimes, undergoing an unfamiliar medical procedure can turn out to be a tense, upsetting, or even frightening experience. If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or fearful, read this article for some general tips on how to make the sample collection experience less stressful.
In this article, you can learn about laboratory-developed tests, also called "LDTs", that are developed, evaluated, and validated within one particular laboratory. They are not distributed or sold to any other labs or healthcare facilities to perform on their own. Often, a lab will choose to develop and use an LDT because a commercial test is not currently available.