All Labs Are Not Equal: Quality Laboratory Services Vital to Your Care

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How do I know if the laboratory my doctor uses is high quality?

All Labs Are Not Equal: Quality Laboratory Services Vital to Your Care

You probably put a great deal of time, effort and thought into choosing your physician. Why wouldn't you put a similar amount of energy into identifying quality laboratory services? After all, the facility where your laboratory test is analyzed can be vitally important to your future.

Your doctor uses a certain laboratory or group of laboratories that produce medical test results. So, while you may not be able to choose the facility, you can learn enough about the lab to feel comfortable sending your samples to them.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor:

* Ask for the name and place where the laboratory is located.

* How did your doctor decide to use this laboratory? Are they a high quality laboratory service?

* Is the doctor confident that their medical test results are correct?

* Ask if your doctor has received incorrect test results from the lab. If so, how was the situation corrected?

* Does the laboratory have a system in place for handling complaints about incorrect test results?

* Ask if the laboratory is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) or other nationally recognized organization. An accredited facility has met certain health and safety standards.

If you have a concern about an accredited office, you can contact the Joint Commission.

To report information or concerns about accredited organizations:

* Call or e-mail their Office of Quality Monitoring at (800) 994-6610 or complaint@jcaho.org.

* You can also fill out a Quality Incident Report form at their Web site, http://www.jointcommission.org/.

   

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