WHAT WE OFFER

The laboratory at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) conducts laboratory and electrocardiogram (ECG) tests efficiently and quickly to assist physicians in diagnosing patients’ conditions. Our full-service laboratory collects and provides results for approximately 1.82 million tests annually to support inpatients, the Emergency Department and hospital clinics in the following areas:

Biochemistry provides routine, urgent and emergency analysis of patient blood and body fluids. Sophisticated equipment is used for the analysis. Medical Laboratory Technologists review patient test results and perform additional tests on the equipment to help ensure that accurate, timely patient test results are available to the doctor.

Cytotechnologists are mainly responsible for receiving, preparing and examining specimens for malignant cells. This includes pap smear screening and also processing specimens from many other body sites such as lung, bladder, liver, and breast.

Most of the procedures for obtaining specimens for cytology are relatively non-invasive and well tolerated by the patient. A cytological diagnosis of malignancy can help the treating physician better plan a course of treatment prior to surgery.

The Laboratory Technicians perform blood specimen collection and electrocardiograms on our outpatients and inpatients. A properly collected and handled specimen is very important in order to produce accurate Laboratory test results. An electrocardiogram is one of the diagnostic tools used to test the functioning of the heart.

The Medical Laboratory Technologists in Hematology examine the patient blood cells under the microscope. They also use sophisticated analytic equipment to perform cell counts and blood clotting tests.

Medical Laboratory Technologists review patient test results and perform additional tests on the equipment to help ensure that accurate, timely patient test results are available to the doctor.

Microbiology is staffed by Medical Laboratory Technologists and Laboratory Technicians. They test patient specimens to determine the possible cause of suspected infections and the medication that will be most effective to treat the infection.

The Laboratory Technicians perform blood specimen collection and electrocardiograms on our outpatients and inpatients. A properly collected and handled specimen is very important in order to produce accurate Laboratory test results.

Pathologist Assistants and Medical Laboratory Technologists assist the Pathologists by preparing tissue specimens for their examination. The tissue specimens are processed using specialized equipment; the prepared tissue is examined under the microscope in order to diagnose the presence or absence of cancer.

The Pathologists examine over 14,000 tissue Surgical Pathology specimens a year. In many cases they are examining biopsies of body sites like skin, gastrointestinal tract and breast. In some cases they are examining a whole organ that is removed at surgery, e.g. a kidney removed because of a tumour.

Often the examination is to determine what disease process is present, e.g. does the tissue contain cancer, or not. Many examinations are to determine the extent of disease, and hence the outlook for the patient.

The Laboratory does not perform autopsies. When such examinations are required they are referred to other institutions that specialize in the work.

The Medical Laboratory Technologists in Transfusion Medicine are responsible for the testing, preparation and issuing of blood and blood products for transfusion to patients. Close links are maintained with the Canadian Blood Services who provide the blood and blood products for our use.

WHO WE ARE

The Laboratory team is made of a series of interprofessional staff members including:

  • Laboratory Technicians

  • Medical Laboratory Technologists

  • Pathologist Assistants

  • Pathologists

SEEKING CARE

Patients accessing care at PRHC may require specimen collection and/or ECG be completed prior to their appointment. The specimen collection laboratory does not accept requisitions from community physicians or healthcare practitioners.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What are the hours that I can have my blood collected or have an ECG?
The Specimen Collection Laboratory is open for patients from the various hospital clinics Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (except statutory holidays). An appointment is not necessary.

 How long will it take to receive my results?
Depending on the type of test(s) performed, it may take anywhere from 24 hours (as is the case for throat swabs) to seven (7) days to get results. Some tests may take longer.

What is meant by “fasting” for my test?
If the test you are having requires fasting, that means that you may not have food or beverages other than water for 12 hours prior to your visit. If you are taking any medication(s), please speak to your physician for specific instructions.

 Does the PRHC Laboratory have a license?
Yes, the PRHC Laboratory holds a licence from the Ministry of Health- Laboratory Inspection and Licensing Information – Laboratories and Genetics Branch.

 Is the PRHC Laboratory accredited?
Yes, the PRHC Laboratory is accredited with the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare and ISO 15189 Plus.