Primary Care

Lifecycle of a Sample

Have you ever wondered what happens after you have a urine or blood sample collected?

Jun. 1, 2021 1   min read


Here’s a quick overview of how a patient urine sample travels through the Rochester Regional Health system, ensuring we get accurate, results to you and your care team quickly.

  1. 1 A patient goes to a doctor’s office or is or is seen in a hospital and a urine sample is requested. Sometimes, we collect it right there or may ask you to go to one of our RRH Laboratory locations, where our phlebotomists will guide you through the process for providing a sample.
  2. Your sample is carefully labelled with our full name, plus a second patient identifier (typically your date of birth or medical record number).
  3. The sample is brought to the laboratory by a courier or patient care tech (if you’re in the hospital) and is delivered to a specimen management technician for accessioning.
  4. The specimen management technician scans the label on your sample to add it to the work list and orders tests based on what your healthcare provider is trying to uncover. They transport your sample to the appropriate department or reference lab for testing.
  5. A medical technologist or cytotechnologist completes the ordered tests. Some tests are manual while others are run on equipment called analyzers. The technologist monitors the analyzer’s results and looks for any abnormalities. The sample could visit any or all of the following departments:
    • Microbiology: Looking for bacteria and performing testing to identify the antibiotics which will be most effective.
    • Chemistry: Looking for levels of drugs, hormones, proteins, electrolytes and more.
    • Cytology and pathology: Looking for infections, cancers or pre-malignancies (these urine samples are also diagnosed by a pathologist).
  6. Once your healthcare provider has all the results, they can make a diagnosis and work with you to determine the best course of treatment.
  7. You will receive a copy of your results in your MyCare patient portal. Having access to your own results helps you stay informed about your own healthcare.
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Laboratory and pathology services are vital to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. With convenient patient laboratory service centers, home lab services, expert pathologists and in-hospital diagnostics, we offer the full range of testing services to the communities we serve.

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