Lab tests are performed in direct response to a request by the physician or healthcare provider. Interpretation of lab results in the assessment and/or treatment of the patient is the sole responsibility of the physician or pathology staff. The Department offers on-site testing for all general areas of clinical pathology as well as specialty areas of surgical pathology, cytology and microbiology.
Methodist Medical Center will perform laboratory testing at the written request of a physician. A requisition form should accompany each specimen or patient to the laboratory. For specimen requirements, please refer to "Guidelines for Specimen Collection" or "Laboratory Test Directory" to be assured the patient is properly prepared (i.e. fasting, etc.).
If a specimen is unsuitable for testing and must be rejected, the appropriate floor, physician or client will be notified of the problem and informed that a new specimen must be collected. Charges are credited for all unacceptable specimens.
Lab tests are often requested to be cancelled after the testing process has been initiated and often after the test has been completed. Tests that have already been completed at the time the cancel request is received will be evaluated on an individual basis for charging purposes. All tests able to be cancelled prior to completion will be credited. Please note: The lab has policy guidelines to initiate the correct procedure on canceling tests.
Verbal orders are accepted through Central Scheduling, the Diagnostic and Research Center or the main laboratory. All verbal requests for testing will be followed with a letter to obtain the ordering physician's signature.
Quality laboratory testing is directly related to specimen integrity. Methodist Reference Laboratory discards specimens three to seven days after the completion of original testing. This is based on the predetermined integrity of refrigerated whole blood, serum and plasma. Add-on testing may still be requested if it is within three to seven days of the original collection date. If the time elapsed since collection date is beyond the stability for a particular test, a new specimen will be requested.
Testing Referred Due to Scope & Complexity
Tests not performed at Methodist laboratory are referred to independent laboratories or other hospital-based laboratories. These tests are referred because a consult is needed, the volume is low, or the cost to perform in-house is more than the referral cost. Laboratories are selected based on various criteria such as turnaround time, quality indicators, methodologies, billing, and customer service. Various esoteric testing is referred to other labs. These include cytogenetics, special coagulation procedures, surgical consultations, or tests ordered in very low volumes.
Please call (309) 672-4911 to obtain any necessary forms.