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< Pathology and You

What Happens to Your Blood Sample?

You’ve likely had your blood drawn for testing at some point in your life. But what happens next? It takes a team of medical professionals throughout the whole process. Among them are pathologists, who ensure that accuracy checks occur at every step. Let’s take a look behind the scenes to see how pathologists play a key role in examining your blood:

  1. As a routine screening, or based on how you’re feeling, your doctor may order blood tests. Often, doctors will consult with the pathologist to ensure you receive the right test for you. As leaders in medical laboratories, pathologists provide skilled expertise behind the scenes.

  2. After your blood samples are collected, a journey in quality and accuracy begins. Your samples are sent to the laboratory, where they are labeled with patient identifiers unique to you. These identifiers are cross-checked throughout the process. In the medical lab, pathologists are the doctors who set and monitor quality standards. They ensure that accuracy checks occur at every step.

  3. In the laboratory, skilled, licensed medical professionals—trained to perform the requested analysis—begin the examination. Pathologists oversee the analysis and interpret your test results. Urgent tests are always performed first.

  4. Once the analysis is complete, the laboratory team sends your doctor a report about your test results. When needed, your doctor may consult with the pathologist to determine if additional testing is required, or to discuss the best next steps in your treatment. Your doctor uses this information, along with other vital information about your health, to discuss the best treatment plan with you.

Pathologists oversee the analysis of your blood sample and ensure that the test results are interpreted correctly. This commitment to quality is vital because pathologists and laboratory testing inform 70% of all medical decisions. In fact, laboratory tests account for approximately 94% of all data in a typical patient’s health record.