Progressing rate of medical science and technology has enabled medical practitioners to identify the disease and initiate treatment promptly. But from examination to therapy process, diagnosis has a vital role to play. From the simplest blood tests to the most complex oncology diagnostic solutions, laboratories around the country have become an essential part of the healthcare system. And, Diagnostics impact approximately 70% of the outcomes.
Though, all labs are not structured alike. Let us guide you about the best practices and protocols ought to be followed in a lab to get the best possible outcomes. It is your right to have a safe, hygienic environment and to know whether you are getting pricked or entering a sophisticated machine to take a test.
Conduct a background check?
The medical speciality that your doctor depends on to figure out problem in your body is ‘laboratory medicine’. Hence, it is imperative to take a background check of the lab on which you are about to depend your medical future and decision. “National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories” is the accreditation body of India. The main job of this board is to ensure that laboratories implement quality and accuracy in issuing medical test results.
For better and safe examination, you have two options:
- You can always ask your doctor to recommend some renowned laboratory.
- You can check yourself if the lab is accredited by the government body.
Look out for the visual signs of safety
While going and taking tests like X-ray, MRI, blood test, USG, etc., always check for the following signs to understand the level of hygiene, especially in collection centres:
- The technician who attends you for blood test or any other test should have washed his hands before picking up equipment.
- Check that your lab doctor is wearing a fresh pair of gloves, have a lab coat and wearing an eye protection.
- New and packed syringe is being used.
- Your blood samples have been labelled in front of you with your name and date.
- Make sure that cotton swab is taken out from sealed packet.
- The bed has a freshly-laid disposable cover and the hospital gown is disposable too.
- Look out for any unwanted objects in the X-ray room like scattered food, open chemicals etc.
- Notice, if the physician is explaining complex procedures before performing them. Ask for a female assistant if required.
- It is taken as good practice if lab technician offers disposable towels to wipe the gel from body in case of an ultrasound.
- For any scopic procedures like colonoscopy, watch that physicians wear masks and gloves.
Clear your doubts
It is essential to consult your physician about medical tests you will undergo, especially sophisticated tests and those that are usually done on referral. Also, you can ask your doctor like what to expect during check-up or test and can know how to prepare for the procedure. The more you know about it, the less anxious you will be.
If you have certain specific health conditions, allergies or skin ailments inform your doctor before any checkup. Check out for the additional services lab offers. There are certain tests that need a counsellor. Check whether lab can offer that service. Moreover, some labs offer a second-opinion service—they have complex reports reviewed by more than one doctor which can be later taken into consideration by your physician.
It is compulsory to consult a doctor before undergoing any test, if one is breastfeeding or pregnant. As, exposure to radiation can be dangerous for the developing fetus; hence another imaging test can be taken to avoid radiation.
Seek advice about food or liquids needed to be consumed before taking any tests.
If you are under any kind of medication, ask your doctor for the possible implications it might have on the test results, specially blood or urine tests.