What do I need to know before requesting a test?

Am I allowed to request the test?

Only authorized providers are legally allowed to request laboratory testing.  Refer to NSHA Central Zone Policy:

Am I registered as an authorized provider with NSHA Central Zone’s Pathology and Laboratory Medicine?

The authorized provider’s information must be registered in the Laboratory Information system prior to submitting a test request. Complete the Physician Addition/Change Form to register.

Is the test available?

Refer to: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Laboratory Test Catalogue

How do I request a test?

There are three options to consider:

  • Is there an existing specimen in the lab?
    • The requestor should determine if an additional test may be added by calling (902) 473-2266.
  • Do I have access to order the test directly into the Laboratory Information System?
    • A few locations within NSHA Central Zone have direct access into the Laboratory Information System eliminating the need to complete a paper requisition.
  • Do I complete a paper requisition?

When will the results be available?

Laboratory testing Turn-Around-Times (TAT) have been established based on test requested and order priority.
Refer to Laboratory Test Result TAT lists on the website

Will the collection be rejected as a result of unacceptable or incomplete collection or patient information?

Yes. To prevent rejection of specimen and delay of testing, the appropriate specimen type and volume must be collected, the requisition and specimen labels must be accurate, legible,  complete and information on the requisition must match information on the specimen. The following links detail the requirements:

Are there criteria guiding how often a test can be requested?

Yes. The Laboratory utilizes repeat rules based on literature, clinical guidelines and best practices to optimize patient and health care system outcomes and reduce inappropriate laboratory testing. Details can be found on the Laboratory Utilization webpage.