At Intermountain Healthcare, your laboratory results are a key component of your physician’s diagnosis and treatment of your health condition.  Your physician will apply your results to other procedure reports and clinical findings in your health record to best determine a course of action that is appropriate for you.  You have the right to request a copy of your results from your physician.

How does my physician determine what laboratory tests to order?

Based on information gathered from your medical history, a recent exam and your current symptoms, your physician will order specific tests that provide additional relevant clinical information to aid in forming a diagnosis.

Where can I go to provide a sample for testing?

Many physicians today have medical staff onsite that will draw blood, collect urine, or remove tissue for analysis at the lab.  If this service is not available at the facility where you see your doctor, you can go to any one of the Intermountain patient service centers.

What happens to my sample once I have provided it?

Your sample will be labeled with your name, date of birth, and one other unique identifier.  It will be transported to an Intermountain laboratory via a courier or tube system.  Samples are scrutinized for correct patient identification, sample type and volume, and then prepared for testing in the appropriate laboratory department by technicians and/or technologists with specific training for that test type.  Results are transmitted electronically to physician and patient portals upon completion.

How long does testing typically take before results are available?

Many tests are completed within 4 hours.  Paps, biopsies, and cultures take longer because of the manual nature of the procedures.  Additionally, some specialty tests take longer and your physician can tell you if your tests fall into any of these categories.

What does an abnormal lab result value mean?

A normal range of lab values is established by summarizing a large number of test results from a healthy population of patients.  When your own test result values fall outside of these predictive ranges, you and your physician should discuss what implications the abnormal value has for your own present health condition.  Your physician may choose to consult with one of Intermountain’s many pathologists, who are experts in interpretation of lab values and identification of disease in biological specimens.

What will laboratory testing cost me?

Intermountain Healthcare is contracted with the majority of insurance plans for laboratory testing.  These insurance plans cover the most commonly ordered lab tests.  If you have a question about specific tests your physician has ordered, please contact your insurance carrier.  Your physician’s billing office may also be able to tell you what out-of-pocket expenses there may be, if any.