How to choose a good medical laboratory?
If possible, assess the level of equipment and automation in the laboratory, the presence of a computer information system. These are three basic positions, without a guarantee of the quality of research it simply cannot be.
Material should be labeled using barcode so that you can be sure that your sample will not be confused and the results of another patient will not be entered on your form. Ask these questions directly in the laboratory. If you are willingly and thoroughly answered, people have something to be proud of. Common phrases – nothing to be proud of!
Pay attention to the condition of the treatment room and the method of sampling. If the laboratory does not use vacuum systems – do not deal with it! If for a general blood test, blood is taken from a finger, it is also bad. The vacuum tube is not only a guarantee of safety for the client and staff, but also a guarantee of the quality of future studies, as it guarantees standardization of blood collection, stabilization of analytes and sample storage. Let’s give an example: if blood for glucose analysis is taken in a regular test tube, then after 20 minutes the glucose level in it will be 10% less than the initial one! I do not think that during this time it is possible to register, process and analyze blood.
It is important what additional services and services are ready to offer you.
It is very convenient if the work schedule includes evenings and weekends, if you can always be given a printout of the results again, consult, send the results electronically or by fax, provide a comparative analysis of the results.
Estimate the terms of execution, the ability to perform research if necessary urgently and the test menu. And, of course, only elite establishments will offer an individual approach: ordering for you personally and unique types of research with laboratory diagnosis.
Last but not least, do you like the place you are visiting? Is it clean, comfortable, pleasant and polite staff, a comfortable chair for taking blood? If so, trust your intuition! It’s great if it’s also close to home or work.
If we talk about evaluating the results obtained, we will repeat ourselves, but let’s say that it is the leaders’ equipment and native imported reagents that are the guarantee that the results correspond to reality. If there is a good analyzer in the laboratory, but cheap reagents are bought for it, the quality, to put it mildly, falls, or rather, is absent. A person from the street will not be provided with this information, but you can navigate by the coincidence of laboratory data with other research methods and diagnosis.
Speaking of using value for money, I note that good research cannot be at dumped prices. Real PCR analysis is expensive! You will be surprised in the store if they tell you that genuine leather shoes cost $ 20 or a new imported car in the showroom costs $ 1,000. Rather, you will immediately understand that this is a deception. In laboratory diagnostics, everything is the same! Tests with the same name in two different laboratories do not always mean the same thing. For example, in some places under the guise of immune status or analysis for “all infections” they give out complete nonsense with a penny cost. And the patient is surprised in a good laboratory why the immune status is so expensive and for each specific pathogen a separate cost is set, and even for different classes of antibodies?