Four Places Where Lab Tests Are Performed

When a patient receives a lab order from a healthcare provider or orders their own testing in states that allow direct access testing (DAT), they must go somewhere to get a specimen collected. Patients with a lab order from one of the MOMS partner labs can have their specimen(s) collected at a MAP: Medical Access Point™ that is convenient for them. Once collected, processed, and prepared for shipment, the specimen is then sent to the laboratory for testing.

One of the biggest challenges for labs that require phlebotomy collections for their tests is accessing a skilled labor network to perform the required collections.

My One Medical Source® (MOMS) is a solution for those labs. As part of the network, labs will have the ability to connect with a national network of consistent, quality-focused MAP: Medical Access Point™ locations that meet their collection needs. Labs can realize greater patient reach through our compliant and convenient platform, as well as realize the efficiencies provided.

One of the most staggering statistics about the medical testing industry is that there are more than 13 billion lab tests performed in the United States each year. When a patient has his or her specimen collected, processed and shipped for testing, where does it go? Similar to the fact that there are different tests to determine different diagnoses, there are differences in where the testing is performed. Here are four places where testing is performed:

Hospital Laboratory

Most hospitals have their own lab, where patients (both in-patient and out-patient) under the care of a provider at said hospital can have their specimens collected. When a provider orders tests for a patient, he or she can go to the lab for the necessary collection, which is also where it will be tested.

A hospital lab can perform both routine and complex tests. Sometimes, if the test is complex and specialized, the hospital may send a sample to a reference lab.

Reference Laboratory

A reference lab performs high volume testing, for both routine and specialty tests. Patients with certain lab orders can usually visit one of their patient service centers to have their specimen collected. It is then tested at the privately-owned facility before the results are shared with a provider, or directly with the patient.

Direct Access Testing (DAT)

Currently, there are 38 states that allow direct access testing (26 fully permitted, 12 with some limitations). Patients residing in these states are able to order tests without an order from their provider. These tests range from general health tests, such as a CBC or diabetes screening, to genetic tests.

Since patients can order without a provider’s guidance, they get the results directly. As one can imagine, it may be difficult to decipher what the results say. Labs providing these tests must provide a reference range that accompanies these results. While this may help a patient understand where his or her results are compared to a standard range, it does not give the same diagnosis as working with a provider could.

Point of Care

Point of care tests have become a popular alternative to going to a lab for testing, as they can be performed wherever the patient sees fit. As society becomes more aware of testing thanks to the worried-well and the COVID-19 pandemic, point of care testing has become more consumer-focused.

Examples of point of care tests include pregnancy tests, blood glucose monitoring, and at-home COVID-19 tests from companies like Abbott and Ellume.

For labs or patients in need of a specimen collection for a test, MOMS provides access to the skilled labor to make the required collection. To learn more about MOMS and our MAP: Medical Access Point™ Network, contact us today.