The clinical laboratory is a major part of our healthcare system. A physician or other clinician orders a lab test for a multitude of reasons. This could be to diagnose, treat, manage, or monitor a patient’s condition. The life cycle of a lab test includes multiple facilities from start to finish to ensure accurate results.
Gathering the Sample
Once you visit a medical professional and they determine that additional testing is needed, the process begins with a collection of biological matter from the patient. For something like COVID-19, this could be a swab of the nasal cavity. You can learn more specifically about how COVID testing works on our website. Since there are different types of testing panels and bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens, there are many different ways to collect the sample. Your health care provider will let you know which method is right for the testing panel that you need. You can learn more about each testing panel on our website.
The Sample is Sent to a Clinical Lab
Once safely collected, the sample is packaged and sent to the clinical lab. Some labs, like Tide Labs, have laboratory information systems to help clinical facilities keep track of the samples throughout the process. This also helps keep their samples organized when shipping.
Testing Begins On the Sample
Some tests are manually evaluated, but most tests are performed using technical advanced instrumentation. At Tide Labs, we utilize cutting-edge polymerase chain reactions (PCR). PCR offers both rapid results and the most accurate sample analyses. PCR tests utilize genetic material from viral and bacterial pathogens combined with genetic material from the sample to see if there is a match.
Clinical Lab Communicates Results to the Medical Facility
The results of this test are gathered and reviewed by a lab technician. A lab technician ensures the accuracy of the results before sending the results to the medical facility. At Tide Labs, results are delivered via our advanced laboratory information management system. Our system allows results to be received quickly so that medical facilities will be able to interpret the results and treat their patient faster.
Medical Professional Interprets the Results
Once the test results are in the doctor’s hands, they must interpret the results to fit the best needs of the patient. The benefit of molecular testing is that it offers a more accurate and more in-depth look at the patient’s diagnosis and can shed light on unknown issues that may need to be taken into consideration. This allows medical professionals are able to provide more personalized care for their patients overall.
Medical Professional Communicates the Results to the Patient
The results are communicated to the patient after the medical professional’s review. Together both patient and doctor then discuss the diagnosis and treatment options that are best for the patient. Follow-up visits and testing may be requested by the medical professional. If so, the process is repeated.
Lab Testing Needs to Be Reliable, Accurate, and Fast
Lab testing has changed dramatically over the years. What used to take a few weeks to process, now can be analyzed within a few hours. At Tide Laboratories, we offer state-of-the-art drug testing services that meet the high standards of medical professionals everywhere. We offer reliable service while providing accurate and fast results.
We’ve worked with a diverse range of clients such as, medical facilities, treatment and detox centers, sports franchises, criminal justice agencies, commercial employers and industrial and manufacturing services. Our convenient online reporting allows facilities to access the results fast, to make diagnosing and treatment of patients faster.
Contact us today to learn more. Call 256-445-5000!