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Considerations For Partnerships With Lab Services

by Bonnie Gordon

With laboratory services, it's important to preserve a specific chain of communications, and to take care to provide a certain standard of quality. If you are someone who's been tasked with evaluating lab services or making choices about these services, take a look at some of the things that these services provide to clients.

Delivery Timelines

Obviously, one of the most important aspects of web services is timelines by which the lab will return results. Lab offices often get backlogged and experience problems with timely delivery. A lab service needs to define when they will be able to return results to a medical office, and how those results be returned, in what format and by what deadlines.


With different kinds of lab services, for example, cholesterol and metabolic panel, oncology or allergy tests, there are certain bits of information that a medical office needs in order to pass along notifications to individual patients. A lab testing service should be able to complement the internal protocols of the medical office regarding how notifications are sent out in a consistent way, whether it's online or on paper.

Refrigeration or Lab Specimen Preservation

There are also specific environmental standards for lab services that revolve around transporting specimens. Some of these may include refrigeration or security protocols for specimens. Certain types of sealed containers are also standard for blood work.

Appropriate Biohazard Signage

Because they're dealing with blood and human specimens, lab services need to provide appropriate biohazard labeling for specimens, and also for container and vehicles.

Specifications for Types of Testing

Demands for certain kinds of lab testing are different than demand for other types of lab tests. Lab services may have different timelines for handling procedures for types of blood tests such as:

  • cholesterol blood tests
  • white cell count blood tests
  • oncology blood tests
  • metabolic panel blood tests
  • thyroid blood tests

Any of these, and others, may require specific service guidelines that should be clear and transparent to clients.

Fee-for-Service Arrangements

Another important aspect of lab services is whether or not the service provides specific point people to talk to if there's any kind of a problem. Clear channels of communication are important, and so is billing transparency. Clients should know, for example, what fee-for-service amounts they're paying to the lab service for each specific type of service that they provide.

Some of these ground rules are helpful for delivering better lab services to medical offices and other clients.