Laboratory testing is a procedure ordered by your healthcare provider to check how well your organs are functioning, how your body is responding to medications, and to test or diagnose diseases. Doctors recommend having a standard blood test done every year, as this helps catch certain diseases in the early stages, and ensures that everything is working as it should.
What are the Different Types of Tests?
Two of the most common types of tests performed are blood tests and urinalysis. Other tests may require a body fluid or specimen, like plasma, body tissue or a skin scrape. A urinalysis test checks the appearance and any presence of protein, blood, drugs and other contents that could indicate infection or disease. There are a variety of blood tests, and the type that is ordered by your doctor will depend on your health history, any symptoms you may be having, risk factors, and may be mandated by an employer to check for substance use.
Some commonly ordered blood tests include:
- Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP): Blood test that measures 8 different substances in the blood and is used to diagnose, monitor or screen for certain health conditions.
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP): Blood test that measures 14 different substances in the blood and is used to diagnose, monitor or screen for certain health conditions.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): A complete blood count is a comprehensive test that measures red and white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelets, and unusual increases or decreases in cell count. It is used to diagnose a variety of conditions and monitor chronic health problems or cell count reaction from treatment.
- Lipid Profile: Also called lipid panel, this test measures levels of cholesterol and other fats in your blood. It is used to monitor, diagnose and evaluate someone for cardiovascular disease.
- Thyroid Function Test (TSH): This blood test measures your level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). It is used to diagnose an overactive or underactive thyroid.
Don’t panic if one of your test results come back abnormal. Your physician will review your medical history and current medications before deciding if you should return for further testing. Diet, medication and certain conditions can cause abnormal test results.
Scheduling Lab Work is Easy with MyChart
MyChart is an electronic patient portal that allows patients to manage their health online 24/7. Through the MyChart app, patients can easily schedule a lab appointment at any of Catholic Health’s 21 lab locations. Unlike other local laboratories, we process our tests locally. This allows our technicians to provide you with your test results faster, often on the same day.
MyChart offers a number of convenient features, like skipping long wait times on the phone, online appointment scheduling, bill pay, medication refill requests, secure messaging with your care team, and viewing your test results.
Scheduling an appointment is easy, and can be done right from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Don’t have a MyChart account yet? Visit MyChart.chsbuffalo.org to sign up today.