Referred Tests (Tests Performed at External Laboratories)

How do we ensure the quality of assays performed outside the department?

The Quality Manager conducts a regular review of referral labs in terms of CPA accreditation status, turnaround time and External Quality Assurance (EQA) scheme performance.

How do I know where and when my samples will be analysed?

The list of tests carried out at external laboratories page lists all tests that are currently performed at laboratories outside the Trust. Information relating to each of these assays including the laboratory who carry out the analysis can be found on the tests and tubes database. The printed copy of the lab report will quote the laboratory where the analysis was performed and contact information.

What if I need to contact an external laboratory to follow up an urgent result?

Contact phone numbers for individual laboratories are not provided. If a result for a referred test is required urgently and the user wishes to enquire when this can be expected, our laboratories should be the first point of contact.

What if I can't find the assay that I require in the list of referred work?

This should be discussed with the on duty clinical biochemist (DO) during routine hours and Biomedical Scientist on-call outside routine hours. Please consult the opening hours section as to hours of operation for each site and details on how to contact the Biomedical Scientist working out of hours.

What should I do if the assay that I require is on the list of referred assays?

It is vital to read all information associated with the assay before collecting samples and sending them to the laboratory. There are various reasons for this.  Many of these tests have special collection and transport requirements and require liaison with the laboratory before sending.  Some require prior discussion with the duty biochemist to assess clinical need.  Some sendaway tests are only warranted when other lab results support the need for further investigation.

Page updated: 11/01/11 | Updated by: Micheal O'Sullivan

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