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Chapter 15

Introdution to the Clinical Laboratory

Automated method A method of laboratory testing in which the series of steps in the test method is performed with an automated analyzer.
Fasting Abstaining from food or fluids (except water) for a specified amount of time before the collection of a specimen.
Homeostasis The statement in which body systems are functioning normally, and the internal environment of the body is in equilibrium; the body is in a healthy state.
In vivo Occurring in the living body or organism.
Laboratory test The clinical analysis and study of materials, fluids, or tissues obtained from patients to assist in diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Manual method A method of laboratory testing in which the series of steps in the test method is performed by hand.
Plasma The liquid part of blood, consisting of a clear, yellowish fluid that compromises
Profile Numerous laboratory tests providing related or complementary information used to determine the health status of a patient.
Quality control The application of methods to ensure that test results are reliable and valid and that errors are detected and eliminated.
Routine test A laboratory test performed routinely on apparently healthy patients to assist in the early detection of disease.
Serum The clear, straw-colored part of the blood (plasma) that remains after the solid elements and the clotting factor fibrinogen have been separated out of it.
Specimen A small sample of something taken to show the nature of the whole.
Analyte A substance that is being identified or measured in a laboratory report.
Calibration A mechanism to check the precision & accuracy of a test system, such as an automated analyzer, to determine if the system is providing accurate results; typically performed using a device called a standard.
Clinical diagnosis A tentative diagnosis of a patient's condition obtained through evaluation of the health history & the PE, without the benefit of laboratory or diagnostic tests.
Control A solution that is used to monitor a test system to ensure the reliability & accuracy of test results.
Nonwaived test A complex lab test that does not meet to CLIA criteria for waiver & is subject to the CLIA regulations.
Product insert A printed document supplied by the manufacturer with a laboratory test product that contains information on the proper storage & use of the product.
Qualitative test A test that indicates whether or not a substance is present in the specimen being tested & also provides an approximate indication of the amount of the substance.
Quantitative test A test that indicates the exact amount of a chemical substance that is present in the body, with the results being reported in measurable units.
Reagent A substance that produces a reaction with a patient specimen that allows detection of measurement of the substance by the test system.
Reference range A certain established & acceptable parameter or reference range within which the laboratory test results of a healthy individual are expected to fall (aka reference value and reference interval)
Test system A setup that includes all of the test components required to perform a laboratory test such as testing devices, controls & testing reagents.
Waived test A laboratory test that meets the CLIA criteria for being a simple procedure that is easy to perform & has a low risk of erroneous test results; these have been FDA approved for home use.
Created by: RachelPenwell