Thursday, April 24, 2014

Community Laboratory Innovation that Makes Health Care Work for You


In Celebration of National Medical Laboratory Week April 20-26th
TORONTO, Ontario April 24, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - There are 350,000 hospitalizations annually due to heart disease and stroke inCanada. Each year approximately 50,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed, 70,000 heart attacks occur, and 50,000 strokes send Canadians to emergency rooms across the country. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy cholesterol/lipid levels reduces the risk of heart disease.
During National Medical Laboratory Week, the Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories (OAML) is proud to highlight how community laboratories have helped support patients' compliance with routine screening for lipid levels. Traditionally, patients were required to fast before their cholesterol levels were tested.   In December of 2013, Ontario Community Laboratories introduced an alternate indicator that does not require fasting.
"Ontario's community laboratories recognized that the need to fast before screening cholesterol levels was a deterrent to patients following through with their testing," said Paul Gould, Chief Executive Officer of the OAML. "It was this understanding of patients' needs and the desire to make healthy screening easier for them that led to the innovative new approach for this test."
Patients can now conveniently have their blood drawn at any time of day for this screening without the hassle and irritation of fasting.  Overnight fasting and early morning testing is no longer required for many cholesterol  tests which is not only easier for patients, but also reduces wait times because these routine screenings can now  be done at any time of day, addressing congestion at peak hours. This innovative new testing approach is an example of just one way Ontario's Community Laboratories are working to make health care work for Ontarians.
The OAML was established in 1978 as the voice of Ontario's community medical laboratory sector. OAML member laboratories provide 95% of all diagnostic testing for patients outside of hospitals. The Association is composed of 6 members that operate 24 accredited testing facilities and 329 licensed specimen collection centres across Ontario.

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