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Precise lab tests help you maintain good health. At University Health, we understand how important this technology is. Our state-of-the art, fully accredited laboratories perform more than 1.5 million tests annually within 11 specialties. Most test results are available within one hour of arriving in our laboratory.

All of our medical laboratory scientists (MLS) are credentialed and, through our MLS program, help train future laboratorians. With our residency program, our pathologists train new specialists.

What to expect at your lab test

We have full-service laboratories at University Health Truman Medical Center and University Health Lakewood Medical Center. No matter which of our laboratories you visit, be assured we partner with your provider to ensure tests are accurate and timely.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • We offer walk-in laboratory services. No appointment is needed. The draw station at University Health Truman Medical Center is open 7 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. The draw station at University Health Lakewood Medical Center is open 7:30 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Each time you visit the draw station, you need to show identification. This can be your driver's license, passport or Missouri ID.
  • If you're a patient at University Health, your physician will preorder your laboratory tests. If not, you need a signed laboratory order from your healthcare provider. You can bring this order with you or your doctor can fax it to us. This order must include:
    • Your name, date of birth and Social Security number.
    • The test(s) you need.
    • A diagnosis or ICD-10 code for each test.
    • An authorized signature from your healthcare provider.
  • If you have Medicare, you might need to sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice. This waiver means you accept financial responsibility if the diagnosis provided doesn't cover the test(s) ordered.
  • You can't eat or drink for several hours before some tests, like those for cholesterol, glucose and lipid levels. Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions.

After you are registered, most tests take only a few minutes. You'll see a phlebotomist, who is a healthcare professional trained in drawing blood. You'll go to a private area and the phlebotomist will draw your blood and help with any other specimens needed.

Getting your results

We process most tests locally. This means your healthcare provider usually receives results within a few hours. Some tests might take a little longer. In some cases, we send tests to a national reference laboratory.

When your results are ready, your healthcare provider will contact you to go over them, answer your questions and talk about any next steps. Your results will also be available on the myTruHealth patient portal.

Outpatient lab tests

At University Health, we perform hundreds of different tests. Here are some of the tests we run routinely:

Complete blood count (CBC). This is the most common blood test we perform. It measures the types and numbers of cells in your blood. The CBC is used to determine your general health status as well as to screen for disorders and evaluate nutritional status. It can also help evaluate symptoms like weakness, fatigue and bruising. And it can help diagnose conditions like anemia, leukemia and infection.

Prothrombin time. Also known as PT or pro time, this test measures how long it takes blood to clot by checking the presence and activity of five blood-clotting factors. The test can screen for bleeding abnormalities and monitor medications that prevent blood clots.

Basic metabolic panel. This test measures glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, carbon dioxide, blood urea nitrogen and creatine. It can be used as part of a routine health screening or to help determine blood sugar levels, or check electrolyte and fluid balance. It's also used to check kidney function and monitor the effects of medications (like high blood pressure drugs). You may need to avoid eating or drinking for 12 hours before this test.

Comprehensive metabolic panel. This is the basic metabolic panel plus six more tests. This panel provides a more complete evaluation of metabolic functions. These tests focus on organ systems.

Lipid panel. This group of tests evaluates cardiac risk. The panel includes cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Liver panel. This combination of tests assesses liver function. It can also establish the possible presence of liver tumors.

Thyroid stimulating hormone. This test screens and monitors the function of the thyroid.

Hemoglobin A1C. This test diagnoses and monitors diabetes.

Urinalysis. This general screening is used to check for early signs of disease. It can also be used to monitor diabetes or kidney disease. Urinalysis is often the first lab performed.

Cultures. These tests are used in the diagnosis and treatment of infections, including urinary tract infections, pneumonia, strep throat, MRSA and meningitis. The tests also help providers figure out which antibiotic is best.

No matter what laboratory work you need, we are here to help. Talk to your provider about the tests and laboratory locations that are right for you.