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LifeLabs, together with other members of The Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories (OAML), adopted a common protocol for the communication of Expedited and ‘Critical‘ results in 2001.
This protocol was revised in 2003. The revision included a system to manage and downgrade certain recurrent alert and critical results which were not unexpected.
The 2009 revision recognizes the increasing use and availability of electronic delivery of LifeLabs laboratory results into Clinical Management Systems (CMS) or via iLablink. Potentially these make telephone communication of all expedited results and all other results except for ‘Critical‘ values redundant, providing of course the clinician has a system in place to regularly check for these. It is clear many do and that we make a number of redundant often annoying calls which serve no useful clinical purpose.

We must continue to call “Critical” Values but clinicians will have the option to receive all ASAP, Urgent and Alert results electronically via the modalities noted above or to a verified fax machine.
You will receive a communication in the first part of 2009 to
verify contact numbers including ‘out of office‘ numbers and fax numbers. You will be given the option to opt for electronic communication of all but ‘Critical‘ results providing you personally sign to certify that there is a system in place to regularly check these.
LifeLabs is happy to continue to call all results as we do currently. The choice is yours.
We encourage you to read the revised guideline when it is delivered to you. It will also be posted on the LifeLabs ( and OAML websites (

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Please inform staff if you are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition. 

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