Effective Lab Test Preparation Could Help Reduce Patient Wait Times

    Medical Laboratory Professionals Suggest Ways to Ensure Accurate Test

    OTTAWA, April 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Canadian Society for Medical
Laboratory Science (CSMLS) announced measures that Canadians can take to
ensure that their laboratory test results are accurate. Steven Fletcher,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and a team of medical
laboratory professionals, were on hand for the announcement at the Ottawa
General Hospital's new biochemistry and hematology laboratory.
    Kurt Davis, CSMLS Executive Director, said that there is a direct link
between a patient's proper preparation for a laboratory test and his or her
likelihood of receiving accurate and speedy diagnosis of the illness.
    "Canadians need to know that even small things like chewing gum or
smoking before a test could impact their test results," said Davis. "Since up
to 85 per cent of decisions about diagnosis and treatment are based on
laboratory test results, it is in the patient's best interest to take the
necessary steps to ensure that the test results are accurate."
    Medical laboratory tests, performed by certified medical laboratory
professionals, range from throat swabs to blood tests to biopsies. According
to CSMLS, medications, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food intake and exercise
can affect laboratory test results.
    Robin Power, a certified medical laboratory technologist and President of
CSMLS, said that preparing for a test is the most important step a patient can
take regarding diagnosis. "Canadians need to know how critical lab tests are
to their health," said Power. "An inaccurate test result, based on a patient's
poor preparation, could lead to misinterpretation of the illness and
ultimately delay proper treatment."
    The Society highly recommends that Canadians follow the Lab Test
Checklist available on the CSMLS website, www.csmls.org, before going in for a
lab test. The Checklist provides questions to ask one's doctor and medical lab
professional before a test is conducted. Examples of questions include asking
what kind of information the test will provide, what needs to be done to
prepare for the test, and what time is best for collection.
    "In a time where wait times are such a crucial issue in our hospitals,"
said Davis, "preparing effectively for lab tests is at least one important
step Canadians can take to ensure proper and timely diagnosis and treatment."

    CSMLS is the national certifying body for medical laboratory
technologists and medical laboratory assistants, and the national professional
society for Canada's medical laboratory professionals. The society has over
14,000 members.

For further information:

For further information: Kurt Davis, Executive Director, Cell: (289)
440-2361, khdavis@csmls.org; Alison McLennan, Director, Communication, (905)
528-8642 ext. 15; alison@csmls.org

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Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

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