Mon, Oct 24, 2016 | updated 11:47 PM IST

Safe practices you should be aware of and that Labs should follow

Updated: Sep 14, 2016 16:32 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept. 13 (ANI): With the progress of medical science and technology, it is possible to identify a disease and start treatment all within a brief time-span.

But between examination and therapy, there is the crucial matter of diagnosis. From the simplest blood test to the most complex oncology diagnostic solution, laboratories around the country form an important part of the healthcare system.

Diagnostics impact approximately 70 percent of the outcomes. All labs though, are not created alike.

Zoya Brar, the founder and managing director of Core Diagnostics has highlighted the safe practices one should be aware of and that labs should follow.

Firstly, a proper background check should be done.

The medical specialty that your doctor depends on to figure out what has gone wrong in your body is 'laboratory medicine'. Hence it is imperative to do a background check on the lab you are about to trust your medical future on. The accreditation body in India is the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. Its main job is to ensure that laboratories implement quality and accuracy in issuing medical test results. You can either ask your doctor to recommend a laboratory or check if the lab is accredited by the government body.

Secondly, look out for the visual signs of safety. When you go in for a test (X-ray, MRI, blood test, USG, etc), check for the following signs, to understand the level of hygiene, especially in collection centers:

1. The technician attending to you for a blood test should have washed his hands before he picks up implements. He should be wearing a fresh pair of gloves, have a lab coat, and be wearing eye protection.

2. The syringe should be taken out of the packet in front of you.

3. Your blood samples have been labeled in front of you with your name and date.

4. Make sure the cotton swab used to collect your saliva is out of a packet too.

5. The bed has a freshly-laid disposable cover and the hospital gown is disposable too.

6. Look out for any unwanted objects in the X-ray room like scattered food, open chemicals etc.

7. Check to see if the physician is explaining complex procedures before performing them. Ask for a female assistant if required.

8. It is good practice for the lab technician to offer you disposable towels to wipe the gel from your body in case of an ultrasound.

9. For any scopic procedures like colonoscopy, see if the physicians have on masks and gloves.

Thirdly, your doubts should be cleared. It is essential to consult your physician about any kind of medical test you will undergo, especially sophisticated tests and those that are usually done on referral, to know what to expect and how to prepare for the procedure. The more you know about it, the less anxious you will be. If you have certain conditions or allergies or skin ailments, do tell your doctor about it beforehand.

Other than this, additional services a lab offers should be checked. There are some tests that need a counsellor. Check whether the lab can offer you this service. Some labs also offer a second-opinion service-they have complex reports reviewed by more than one doctor, so your physician can take both opinions into consideration.

If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, ask the doctor before undergoing any tests. Exposure to radiation can be dangerous for the developing fetus; hence another imaging test might be used to avoid radiation.

Ask the lab what kind of food or liquids you should consume before taking any tests.

If you are under any kind of medication, ask your doctor for the possible implications it might have on the test results, specially blood or urine tests. (ANI)