Find answers to common questions about patient lab test results. For additional help, contact our Health Information Management Services department.
Laboratory testing provides information (lab results) about the state of your health by the use of tests on blood, tissue or body fluid specimens.
Doctors and health care practitioners use lab tests along with your medical history, a physical exam, and other tests to make health care decisions that are vital to promoting better health and longer life for you.
Lab test results are used along with a physical exam and other diagnostic tests to make judgments about your health. For that reason, the doctor(s) or other medical professionals that provide your health care are in the best position to interpret your test results.
Laboratory tests are performed in clinical laboratories that are licensed by the Pennsylvania State Department of Health. A lab may also be certified by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
Most test results are delivered to the doctor who ordered the test within 24 hours of when the test is performed. Some tests take longer to complete, which is acceptable if your condition allows. Nearly all test results are reported to the physician within a week.
Lab test results are useful to the health care practitioner only if the results are accurate, precise and timely. An accurate test result is one that closely corresponds to its true value. Testing should also be precise; in other words, the results of a particular test should be consistently reliable from patient to patient and from one time to the next.
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.
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.
No appointment is needed; we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After hours on week days or on the weekend, please come to the Emergency Department to register.
You need to bring your identification, your insurance information, the test order from your provider with the diagnosis or reason the test is being done, & his or her signature.
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