LEADING FROM THE FRONT
WHAT IS A PATHOLOGY LABORATORY?
Pathology Laboratory means a facility for the biological, microbiological, serological, chemical, immunological, hematological, biophysical, cytological, pathological, or other examination of materials derived from the human body for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any disease or impairment or the assessment of the health of human beings. These examinations also include procedures to measure or otherwise describe the presence or absence of various substances or organisms in the body.
Comments: This definition specifically excludes any laboratory engaged in research and not directly connected with diagnosis or management of disease in humans, thus making the distinction between the medical and non medical roles of the laboratories. The definition covers various procedures which may have to be undertaken to fulfill the primary role of the lab in arriving at a diagnosis. Fine needle Aspiration and other procedures come in this category.
WHO IS A PATHOLOGIST?
Pathologists are physicians who diagnose and characterize disease in patients by examining material derived from human body.
The qualifications required are M.B.B.S (or equivalent) with successful completion of structured postgraduate training in Pathology for a period not less than one year, recognized by PMDC or qualification in clinical Pathology recognized by PMDC. Pathologists are often referred to as the “doctors to the doctors”.
WHAT ARE HEALTH WAYS LABORATORIES AND HOW DO THEY FUNCTION?
Health Ways Laboratories primarily function to provide assistance to treating physicians to arrive at a proper diagnosis and plan appropriate treatment. The labs have been performing these vital functions since its founding in 1989. It has plans to extend its facilities to outside Rawalpindi. A full fledged Laboratory is established in Abbottabad. Both laboratories are fully computerized and on internet. All pathology reports are validated by a pathologist before release.
HOW ARE MY SAMPLES EVALUATED IN THE LABORATORY?
The blood samples are taken by specially trained personnel called phlebotomist. The sample is drawn after taking all precautions, put in appropriate specially prepared bottles containing necessary reagents and carefully labeled. Samples are then further processed by trained technologist on different instruments depending on the tests. Samples other than blood are also processed in a similar fashion. A detailed report is sent to the advising physician. This report is used to arrive at a proper diagnosis and plan treatment.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE ACCURACY OF RESULTS?
Producing accurate results is a complex process. The accuracy of results on which a patient’s well being might depend involves both human and technical factors. It involves recording of accurate information at the reception, proper collection and labeling of specimens, evaluation of results and finally making a report. A slightest mistake at any stage can vitiate results. A well organized system of internal and external quality controls has been enforced at Health Ways Laboratories. The ISO certification obtained by the labs ensures that quality is constantly maintained and monitored.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DOCTOR IS NOT SATISFIED WITH THE RESULT?
Health Ways Laboratories have up to date quality control systems backed by both internal and external quality control systems. However, if the treating physician feels that lab results do not conform to the clinical pattern, the tests are repeated free of charge. Similarly, slides for second opinion are provided free of charge.
ARE PATHOLOGISTS AVAILABLE TO INTERACT WITH PATIENTS?
The patients can discuss their result with the pathologist at Health Ways laboratories who will explain to them the possible significance of their lab tests. However, as the information about the patient is usually not available, the treating physician is in a better position to fully impart such information.
DO PATHOLOGISTS TREAT THE PATIENTS?
The pathologists do not treat the patients directly. However, our pathologists do work with the physicians to provide a diagnosis and consultation which helps create an effective treatment plan.