Clinical laboratories are healthcare institutions that offer a wide range of laboratory procedures to help physicians or doctors with treatment, patient diagnosis, and management. Medical technologists work in these facilities and are educated to perform numerous tests on biological materials gathered from patients. Most clinical laboratories are located within or near hospital facilities, making them accessible to physicians and patients.
A medical laboratory also called a clinical laboratory, is where tests are performed on clinical specimens to gain information about a patient's health to aid in illness diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Clinical laboratories are examples of applied science, as opposed to basic science research laboratories found in some academic institutions.
Clinical laboratory classifications show that these facilities can deliver high-quality laboratory tests that are important for addressing medical and public health demands. Because new areas of laboratory medicine are being constantly developed, the following list should not be considered a permanent reference for classifying clinical laboratories.
Based on ownership
Clinical laboratories can be government-run (public) and are commonly found in hospitals and medical institutions under the pathology or laboratory medicine department. They can also be privately owned and operated as part of a medical/healthcare organization.
According to function
It can be General clinical laboratories that conduct conventional diagnostic laboratory testing, while specialty laboratories provide disease-specific diagnostic and confirmatory procedures.
Based on test specialization
Facilities can perform testing in the fields of interest indicated below:
Historically, the importance of clinical laboratories as a vital part of the healthcare system was underappreciated. Over time, more clinicians have realized the importance of laboratory tests in confirming diagnoses and monitoring patients' responses to therapy. Aside from their known benefit to individual patients, clinical laboratories were also employed to monitor disorders of public health.