Lab - Specimen Collection

Why is it important to have your Manitoba personal health care card?

In the laboratory, your personal health care card is used for:

  • Patient Identification
  • Confirmation of the correct spelling of your legal name
  • Verification of your Personal Health Number (PHN) on the health care card with the number on the laboratory requisition.
  • Confirmation of your date of birth and gender. Laboratory results can mean different things depending on a person's age and gender. Several laboratory results that are normal for a 70-year-old male are not within normal limits for an infant, teenage boy, or a pregnant woman.

What will the laboratory staff ask me to do?

  • You will be required to spell your name and give your date of birth in the collection room to:
    confirm accuracy of the information entered into the system
    confirm your identification
  • Fasting is required for many laboratory tests. This means you should not eat or drink anything for several hours (usually 10-14 hours) before the collection.
  • We may need to know the exact time you last ate, drank, or took medication. Food or drugs in your system can affect laboratory results.
  • Your height and weight are needed for electrocardiogram (EKG) tracings for the cardiologist interpretations.
  • You may be asked to collect a midstream urine at the laboratory, bring in a first morning specimen, or a 24-hour timed collection.
  • If you are required to collect a sample outside the laboratory, please provide the following legible information on the sample:
    full legal name
    date of collection
    time of collection
  • Laboratory staff will explain all procedures to you. Please ask your physician if you have any questions regarding the laboratory tests.

Who gets my laboratory results?

  • All your laboratory results are confidential.
  • Results are given ONLY to your doctor and at his/her request we will give the report to another doctor or specialist physician.

How will I learn the results of my test?

  • You should discuss this with the doctor who ordered the laboratory tests.
  • Laboratory staff is not authorized to give out laboratory results.

When will my doctor get my test results?

  • Most results are reported within 24-hours of your initial laboratory visit.
  • Some laboratory tests are more complex testing and can take longer. For example, a throat culture will take 48-hours.

How does the laboratory ensure my specimens and results aren't confused with other patients'?

  • The information from you and your doctor is entered into the laboratory computer.
  • Your specimens are labelled with your full legal name and a unique identification number.