Critical Value of Clinical Lab Testing Illuminated During Medical Lab Professionals Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In recognition of the 300,000 medical laboratory professionals across the country who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests annually, the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) today joined the American Society for Clinical Pathology in celebrating Medical Lab Professionals Week from April 19 to 25, 2015.

“Diagnostics serve as the foundation for a new age of personalized medicine,” said ACLA President Alan Mertz. “From testing to monitor chronic conditions to individualized treatment plans based on a person’s unique genetic makeup, clinical lab testing is absolutely crucial to improving patient outcomes, strengthening care quality and containing long-term health costs.”

How Does Lab Testing Work?

Clinical laboratory testing plays an essential part in the delivery of quality health care. A physician or other clinician orders lab tests to diagnose, treat, manage, or monitor a patient’s condition. The process begins with the collection of a sample of blood, tissue, or other biological matter from the patient, which is then sent to the laboratory where it is uniquely identified and examined to make certain that it is appropriate for the testing ordered by the health care provider.

Some tests are manually evaluated, while most are performed using technically advanced instrumentation. Labs employ teams of licensed, highly skilled medical professionals specially trained to perform the requested analyses. Once the testing is complete, the lab issues a report with the findings to the ordering clinician. When the healthcare provider receives and interprets the lab results, informed decisions can be made as to most appropriate treatment for the patient.

America’s clinical labs support hundreds of thousands of employees, with a talent pool comprised of pathologists, biochemists, medical laboratory scientists, phlebotomists, pathologists’ assistants, and other highly skilled medical staff.

More information on the value of laboratory testing can be found at

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