Welcome to the University of Chicago Medicine's Laboratory Website. Your use of the website is deemed acceptance of these terms, which we may modify at any time.
Purpose: This site does not provide medical advice or guidance for the treatment of a particular patient. Rather, its purpose is to educate providers about the laboratory services offered by The University of Chicago Medicine, and provide the process to request testing services, obtain or handle specimens, and receive results. It also provides a directory of individuals in the Laboratories, as well as access to the Lab’s policies and procedures.
DISCLAIMER: WITHOUT LIMITATION, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE DOES NOT MAKE ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS OR ENDORSEMENTS WHATSOEVER. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICINE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT COSTS, FINES, OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM YOUR USE OF THIS WEBSITE.
UChicago Medical Laboratories Policies
Cancellation of Tests
Cancellations received prior to test setup will be honored at no charge. Requests received following test setup cannot be honored. A report will be issued automatically and charged appropriately.
UChicago Medical Laboratories is committed to compliance with applicable laws and regulations such as the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Regulatory agencies that oversee our compliance include, but are not limited to, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). UChicago Medical Laboratories develops, implements, and maintains policies, processes, and procedures throughout our organization which are designed to meet relevant requirements. We expect clients utilizing our services will ensure their compliance with patient confidentiality, diagnosis coding, anti-kick back statutes, professional courtesy, CPT-4 coding, CLIA proficiency testing, and other similar regulatory requirements. Also see “Accreditation and Licensure,” “HIPAA Compliance,” and “Reportable Disease.”
Critical Value Policy
Disclosures of Results
Under federal regulations, we are only authorized to release results to ordering physicians or other health care providers responsible for the individual patient’s care. Third parties requesting results, including requests directly from the patient, are directed to the ordering facility.
Fees are subject to change without notification and complete pricing per accession number is available once accession number is final. Specific client fees are available by calling UChicago Medical Laboratories at 773-702-2827.
UChicago Medical Laboratories is fully committed to compliance with all privacy, security, and electronic transaction code requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). All services provided by UChicago Medical Laboratories that involve joint efforts will be done in a manner which enables our clients to be HIPAA and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) compliant.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in its regulations of July 21, 1980, has listed organisms/diseases for which special packaging and labeling must be applied. Required special containers and packaging instructions can be obtained from us by using the “Supplies Request Form”.
Informed Consent Certification
Submission of an order for any tests contained in this catalog constitutes certification to UChicago Medical Laboratories by ordering physician that: (1) ordering physician has obtained “Informed Consent” of subject patient as required by any applicable state or federal laws with respect to each test ordered; and (2) ordering physician has obtained from subject patient authorization permitting UChicago Medical Laboratories to report results of each test ordered directly to ordering physician.
On occasion, we forward a specimen to an outside reference laboratory. The laws of the state where the reference laboratory is located may require written informed consent for certain tests. UChicago Medical Laboratories will request that ordering physician pursue and provide such consent. Test results may be delayed or denied if consent is not provided.
Due to the inherent exposure risk of non-biologic specimens, their containers, and the implied relationship to criminal, forensic, and medico-legal cases, UChicago Medical Laboratories does not accept nor refer non-biologic specimen types. Example specimens include: unknown solids and liquids in the forms of pills, powder, intravenous fluids, or syringe contents.
Patient Safety Goals
One of The Joint Commission National Patient Safety goals for the Laboratory Services Program is to improve the accuracy of patient identification by using at least 2 patient identifiers when providing care, treatment, or services.
UChicago Medical Laboratories uses multiple patient identifiers to verify the correct patient is matched with the correct specimen and the correct order for the testing services. As a specimen is received at UChicago Medical Laboratories, the client number, patient name, and patient age date of birth are verified by comparing the labels on the specimen tube or container with the electronic order and any paperwork (batch sheet or form) which may accompany the specimen to be tested. When discrepancies are identified, the laboratory will call the client to verify discrepat information to assure UChicago Medical Laboratories is performing the correct testing for the correct patient. When insufficient or inconsistent identification is submitted, UChicago Medical Laboratories will recommend that a new specimen be obtained, if feasible.
In addition, Anatomic Pathology consultation services require the Client Pathology Report. The pathology report is used to match the patient name, patient age and/or date of birth, and pathology case number.
Since tissue blocks and slides have insufficient space to print the patient name on the block, the pathology report provides UChicago Medical Laboratories another mechanism to confirm the patient identification with the client order and labels on tissue blocks and slides.
UChicago Medical Laboratories retains all test requisitions and patient test results at a minimum for the retention period required to comply with and adhere to the CAP. A copy of the original report can be reconstructed including reference ranges, interpretive comments, flags, and footnotes with the source system as the laboratory information system.
Referral of Tests to another Laboratory
UChicago Medical Laboratories forwards tests to other laboratories as a service to its clients. This service should in no way represent an endorsement of such test or referral laboratory or warrant any specific performance for such test. UChicago Medical Laboratories will invoice for all testing referred to another laboratory at the price charged to UChicago Medical Laboratories. In addition, UChicago Medical Laboratories will charge an administrative fee per test for such referral services.
UChicago Medical Laboratories, in compliance with and adherence to the College of American Pathologists (CAP)
Laboratory General Checklist (CAP GEN. 20373) strives to comply with laboratory reporting requirements for each state health department regarding reportable disease conditions. We report by mail, fax, and/or electronically, depending upon the specific state health department regulations. Clients shall be responsible for compliance with any state specific statutes concerning reportable conditions, including, but not limited to, birth defects registries or chromosomal abnormality registries. This may also include providing patient address/demographic information. UChicago Medical Laboratories’ reporting does not replace the client/physician responsibility to report as per specific state statues.
Request for Physician Name and Number
UChicago Medical Laboratories endeavors to provide high quality, timely results so patients are able to receive appropriate care as quickly as possible. While providing esoteric reference testing, there are times when we need to contact the ordering physician directly. The following are 2 examples:
When necessary to the performance of a test, the ordering physician’s name and phone number are requested as part of “Specimen Required.” This information is needed to allow our physicians to make timely consultations or seek clarification of requested services. If this information is not provided at the time of specimen receipt, we will call you to obtain the information. By providing this information up front, delays in patient care are avoided.
In some situations, additional information from ordering physician is necessary to clarify or interpret a test result. At that time, UChicago Medical Laboratories will request physician’s name and phone number so that 1 of our staff can consult with the physician.
We appreciate your rapid assistance in supplying us with the ordering physician’s name and phone number when we are required to call. Working together, we can provide your patients with the highest quality testing services in the shortest possible time.
Specimen Identification Policy
In compliance with and adherence to the CAP and the Joint Commission’s 2008 Patient Safety Goals (1A),
UChicago Medical Laboratories’ policy states that all specimens received for testing must be correctly and adequately labeled to assure positive identification. Specimens must have 2 person-specific identifiers on the patient label. Person-specific identifiers may include: accession number, patient’s first and last name, unique identifying number (eg, medical record number), or date of birth. Specimens are considered mislabeled when there is a mismatch between the person-specific identifiers on the specimen and information accompanying the specimen (eg, computer system, requisition form, additional paperwork).
When insufficient or inconsistent identification is submitted, UChicago Medical Laboratories will recommend that a new specimen be obtained, if feasible.
All tests are unique in their testing requirements. To avoid specimen rejection or delayed turnaround times, please check the “Specimen Required” field within each test. You will be notified of rejected or problem specimens upon receipt.
Please review the following conditions prior to submitting a specimen to UChicago Medical Laboratories:
- Full 24 hours for timed urine collection
- pH of urine
- Lack of hemolysis/lipemia
- Specimen type (plasma, serum, whole blood, etc.)
- Specimen volume
- Patient information requested
- Proper identification of patient/specimen
- Specimen container (metal-free, separation gel, appropriate preservative, etc.)
- Transport medium
- Temperature (ambient, frozen, refrigerated)