Clinical Laboratory Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Need information on mailing specimens to us, getting requisitions, accessing your lab results? It’s available here. Have a question that you think should be answered on these pages, but isn’t? Please let us know by sending an e-mail to labservicesoutreach@urmc.rochester.edu.

Q: Are provider signature stamps allowed on laboratory requisitions?
Using signature stamps alone on laboratory requisitions is not allowed. The signature stamps are best used in conjunction with a signature so that signatures can be read from an ordering provider and lab reports are sent to the correct location.
Q: How do I collect 24 hour urine samples?
Patient instructions for 24 hour urine collection
Patient instructions for 24 hour super saturation analysis urine collection
Q: How do I collect stool samples?
Patient instructions for fecal fat collection
Patient instructions for stool collection
Stool test & collection containers
Q: How do I find the Medicare coverage policies for specific laboratory tests?
View our list of currently approved Medicare Part A Medicare Coverage Policies for specific clinical laboratory tests.
Q: How do I find normal reference ranges on lab tests?
Normal range (reference intervals) are available in our Test Index and are included with every patient result.
Q: What are the specimen and requisition labeling policies?
The following are our specimen container and requisition requirements:
  • Patient’s full first name, last name and at least one unique identifier (MR#, SS#, Account #, DOB).
  • Specimen label must match requisition.
  • The date and time of collection and collector’s initials must be on the specimen container or the requisition. In the absence of a requisition, the electronic order information must be noted on the specimen container.
  • Insufficiently labeled samples will be discarded and a recollection will be required.
  • Specimens may not be relabeled.
  • Specimen source and laterality for all non-blood and tissue samples.
  • Requisition should include ordering provider name & signature, location, tests & procedure name.
  • Patient history and clinical information should be provided for anatomic pathology, cytology and other specimen types when necessary for interpretation of result.
  • Symptoms or diagnosis code (ICD-9) for medical necessity for Medicare outpatients. The currently approved Medicare Part A Medicare Coverage Policies for specific clinical laboratory tests are available here.
  • Blood bank specimens with information different from the requisition must be redrawn. Correction of discrepant information will not be allowed.
Q: How do I mail a specimen to the lab?
General lab and microbiology samples may be shipped or mailed to:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Specimen Receiving, Room G-1605
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 608
Rochester, New York 14642
Pathology specimens, blocks and slides may be shipped or mailed to:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Surgical Pathology Receiving, Room G-5204
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 626
Rochester, New York 14642
A lab requisition must accompany the specimen. Review our requisition and specimen labeling policy.
If you have questions on specimen handling or on lab requisitions to include with the specimen, please call Client Services at (585) 758-0510 option 3 or toll free (800) 747-4769.
Q: How do I obtain courier services?
If you are in the greater Rochester area, you can receive courier services by calling UR Medicine Lab Client Services at (585) 758-0510 or toll free (800) 747-4769. Courier services can be scheduled on an as-needed or regular basis.
Q: How do I obtain information on turnaround time for test results?
Routine outpatient blood tests are usually available for viewing in the Clinical Information System within 12 hours of receipt of the sample by the lab. Some specialized and microbiology tests take longer. Testing schedules are available in our Test Index. See How do I order a STAT test and how long will it take to get results.
Q: How do I obtain lab results and reports for my patients?
Lab reports may be delivered to you by US Mail, remote printer, electronic files uploaded to your electronic medical records (EMR) system, courier, intramural mail at Strong Memorial Hospital or Highland Hospital, or the UR Medicine Clinical Information System (CIS).
The Lab Services Outreach staff works with providers and office staff to assess your specific need (if applicable) and assist with setup.
Q: How do I obtain specimen collection procedures?
Specimen collection procedures are available in the Test Index and in the accompanying specimen collection guidelines for cytology, microbiology, and surgical pathology specimens.
Q: How do I obtain the critical values list?
It is important to assist physicians in responding to certain outcomes that indicate a potentially life-threatening condition. We have therefore identified a group of laboratory test results that merit immediate notification. These test results fall under chemistry, hematology, toxicology and blood bank.
While we would hope to provide notification in all cases of life-threatening conditions, our VI-014-Clinical-Laboratory-Critical-Value-Immediate-Notification-Policy is not intended to cover all clinically serious test results. We serve the needs of many acute care specialty services, so it is not always possible to identify those abnormal test results that are unexpected in the context of a patient’s clinical history.
Q: How do I obtain the home draw policy?
  • We offer in-home phlebotomy services based on the following criteria:
  • The visit is requested by a UR Medicine provider or other client that utilizes UR Medicine Laboratories as their primary lab.
  • The patient is homebound. This means that he or she has a condition due to illness or injury that precludes access to routine medical services outside of his/her residence without special arrangements for transportation. This service is not offered for purposes of convenience. We ask your cooperation in determining if the patient is truly homebound when submitting these requests.
Please see our lab locations for conveniently located UR Medicine Labs service locations for your patients who are not homebound.
We require a completed requisition that includes:
  • Patient demographics
  • Insurance
  • Diagnosis/signs/symptoms
  • Provider signature
  • Frequency
  • Testing is medically necessary, and supported by a coded or written diagnosis
Process for Request and Renewal of Home Draw Standing Orders:
A home draw can be scheduled by calling UR Medicine Labs Home Draw Services at (585) 758-0510 option 4, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
30 days prior to order expiration, a notification of expiration will be sent to the ordering physician. A second reminder will be generated 14 days prior to order notification. This notification serves as a requisition that can be used to renew the request and includes pre-printed renewal instructions.
If the renewal has not been received by the expiration date, the standing order home draw will expire and no further home draws will be performed.
PRN is an acceptable frequency and we encourage using PRN if you anticipate that the frequency of draw will change on a regular basis while monitoring the patient’s condition.
Please note that a minimum of 2 business days' notice is required to schedule a home draw.
Q: How do I obtain the test add-on request form?
Test add-on request form.
Q: How do I order lab requisitions and supplies?
Custom imprinted lab requisitions with your practice facility name, provider list, phone and fax are available. Lab supplies used for the procurement of specimens sent to UR Medicine Labs are listed on the Lab Supply Order Form. Most items can be delivered in 3-5 business days and standing orders can be set up through Client Services.
The New York State Department of Health gives oversight on "allowed" versus "prohibited" lab supplies that may be issued to providers. For more information on NYS guidelines, please refer to Wadsworth Center's Regulatory Affairs subpart 34-2.
Order requisitions and supplies by phone by calling UR Medicine Labs Client Services at
(585) 758-0510 or (800) 747-4769. OR Complete a lab supply & document order form and fax to (585) 295-9622.
Q: How do I order a STAT test and how long will it take to get results?
STAT testing is offered in circumstances when the need for lab results directly affects patient care in an urgent or emergency medical situation.
For ambulatory outpatient STATS:
  • Check STAT on the lab requisition and complete the instructions for results to be called or faxed. Instruct patient to go to one of the listed lab locations.
  • Our goal is to provide STAT test results via phone or FAX within 4 hours of specimen collection. Result turn around time can be minimized if the patient is able to go to the lab service location located at Strong Memorial Hospital, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14642. This location is off the main lobby and the hours are Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Call (585) 758-0510 to verify holiday hours.
For Skilled Nursing Home patients:
For area skilled nursing homes where UR Medicine Labs provide routine phlebotomy services, and in circumstances when the need for STAT lab results directly affects patient care in an urgent or emergency medical situation, call (585) 758-0510 and request STAT phlebotomy nursing home service. Our goal is to provide STAT test results via phone or FAX within 4 hours from time of request.
Q: How do I request electronic lab results for my Electronic Medical Record system (EMR)?
The Greater Rochester Regional Health Information Organization (GRRHIO) takes lab results from area health care systems and makes them available for electronic dissemination. Please visit its contact page to communicate with the GRRHIO directly about your EMR system needs.