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Chemistry Department

The clinical Chemistry department of any laboratory incorporates a limitless variety of diagnostic methodologies and variations on established techniques to perform analytical determinations on patient samples. Such specimens may present in the form of serum, plasma, whole blood, cerebrospinal fluid, urine and a host of body fluids originating from a number of specific sites.

It is the role of the Chemistry department to adapt with advances in methodological sensitivity, specificity and rapidity to provide the physician with the clinically useful information required to diagnose, differentiate and monitor the patient’s clinical state. Established methodologies exist for assessment of cardiac, renal, liver, gastrointestinal and endocrinological function. Analytes measured vary from ions, enzymes, vitamins and hormones to drugs.

Any methodology or analytical system utilized by a Laboratory is subject to strict standardization and ongoing assessment through the use of quality control sampling and external proficiency testing. Quality Control material is designed to mimic the patient sample matrix (consistency), is of known relative analyte concentration and is characteristically run daily at levels reflecting clinically normal, abnormal low and abnormal high values. This will assess the performance of an instrument or system on a daily basis over the entire dynamic range of testing capabilities to ensure it is accurately reporting patient results. Plotting the values generated for quality control materials allows changes in performance to be identified and any such discrepancies to be acted upon.

Common tests performed in the Chemistry department range from electrolytes, cardiac (heart attack) markers, liver function tests, and renal (kidney) function tests to Drug screening (both prescription and drugs of abuse) among others.

The continuous advances made in measurement systems, which originally led to automation of manual techniques, are pushed on a continual basis to minimize sample volume while optimizing sample type.  There are continuous checks on the system occurring in the background that eliminate both time consuming maintenance, troubleshooting and service procedures of the past to ensure the system is always ready for specimen analysis.


Phone: 705-728-9090 Ext. 43219