The Glens Falls Hospital Laboratory is the only laboratory in the Glens Falls region that provides your physician with 24-hour access to your medical records and test results. By choosing us, you can rest assured that in an emergency, your doctor will have the most recent test results available whether they were performed as an inpatient, emergency patient, or outpatient. This continuum of care can play a vital role when there is an immediate need for decisive medical information.
We are committed to providing fast and efficient results for a broad range of tests including the specialty areas of: hematology, chemistry, urinalysis, coagulation, therapeutic drug monitoring, microbiology, blood banking, serology, surgical pathology, and cytology.
Our Laboratory is licensed by the New York State Department of Health and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. Our team of Pathologists work directly with our licensed laboratory professionals to provide accurate and reliable results utilizing the latest technology.
What is Laboratory Testing?
Laboratory tests are medical procedures that involve testing samples of blood, urine, or other tissues or substances from the body. The taking of tissue for examination is called a biopsy. If you've ever had blood drawn or provided a little cup of urine in your doctor's office, it was most likely for a laboratory test.
Such tests are often used as part of a routine check-up to identify possible changes in a person's health before any symptoms appear. Laboratory tests also play an important role in diagnosis when a person has symptoms. In addition, tests may be used to help plan a patient's treatment, evaluate the response to treatment or monitor the course of a disease over time.
Employers may also use labs to test for employee adherence to certain policies. Labs can detect certain drugs that a person has taken, for instance.
After a sample is taken from your body, it is sent to a laboratory. Laboratories perform tests on the sample to see if it reacts to different substances, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Depending on the test, a reaction may mean you do have a particular condition or it may mean that you do not have the particular condition. Sometimes laboratories compare your results to results obtained from previous tests, to see if there has been a change in your condition.
Laboratory test samples are analyzed to determine whether the results fall within normal ranges. This is very common in the test most of us have had called a complete blood count. FDA says normal test values are usually given as a range, rather than as a specific number, because normal values vary from person to person. What is normal for one person may not be normal for another person. Many factors (including the patient's sex, age, race, medical history and general health) can affect test results. Sometimes, test results are affected by specific foods, drugs the patient is taking, and how closely the patient follows pre-test instructions. That is why a patient may be asked not to eat or drink for several hours before a test. When being tested for diabetes for example, you'll be asked to fast for a few hours before. It is also common for normal ranges to vary somewhat from laboratory to laboratory, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Some laboratory tests are precise, reliable indicators of specific health problems. For example, lab tests can identify bacteria in urine. That can indicate such conditions as urinary tract infections. Others provide more general information that simply gives doctors clues to possible health problems. Information obtained from laboratory tests may help doctors decide whether other tests or procedures are needed to make a diagnosis. The information may also help the doctor develop or revise a patient's treatment plan. All laboratory test results must be interpreted in the context of the overall health of the patient and are generally used along with other exams or tests. The doctor who is familiar with the patient's medical history and current condition is in the best position to explain test results and their implications.
Lab tests can be administered in many locations. Your doctor can take samples in his office for different types of tests. Some tests may be performed there or they may be sent out to a lab for testing. You may be sent to a local lab where they will take blood, urine or other samples. If you end up in an emergency room or the hospital, they can take samples as well. Almost all hospitals and emergency rooms have access to a laboratory on site for quick testing. That can be a lifesaver. For instance, certain markers show up in your blood if that indigestion is really a heart attack.