Layout of Medical Laboratory

In this layout of medical laboratory post we have briefly explained about classification of clinical laboratory, clinical laboratory floor plan, and structure of clinical laboratory.

Clinical Laboratory is a place that is equipped with different instruments, equipment’s and chemicals (reagents) etc., for performing experimental works, research activities and investigative procedures.

Medical laboratory is one part of the laboratory that is equipped with various biomedical instruments, equipment’s, materials and reagents (chemicals) for performing different laboratory investigative activities by using biological specimens (whole blood, serum, plasma, urine, stool, etc).

Classification of Clinical Laboratory

The world Health Organization (WHO) lists four kinds of levels of laboratories based on their biosafety.

Clinical Laboratory level I

Basic laboratory level I is the simplest kind and adequate for work with organisms which have low risk to the individual laboratory personnel as well as to the members of the community.

Such organisms are categorized under Risk Group I by WHO. These organisms are unlikely to cause human diseases. Example, food spoilage bacteria, common molds and yeasts.

Clinical Laboratory level II

Basic laboratory level II is suitable for work with organisms that predispose to moderate risk to the laboratory worker and a limited risk to the members of the community.

Such organisms are categorized under Risk Group II by WHO. They can cause serious human diseases but not serious hazards due to the availability of effective preventive measures and treatment.

Example, staphylococci, streptococci, entero bacteria except Salmonella typhi and others. Such laboratory should be clean, provide enough space, have adequate sanitary facilities and equipped with autoclave.

Clinical Laboratory (Level III)

Containment laboratory is more advanced and it is used for work with infectious organisms that present a high risk to the laboratory personnel but a lower risk to the community.

Such organisms are categorized under Risk Group III by WHO. Example, Tubercle bacilli, Salmonella typhi, HIV, Yersina and others.

The principle is to remove from the basic laboratory those organisms and activities which are particularly hazardous.

They are easily transmitted through airborne, ingestion of contaminated food or water and paranterally. Such laboratory should be a separate room with controlled access by authorized staff. It should also be fitted with microbial safety cabinet.

Clinical Laboratory (Level IV)

Maximum containment laboratory is intended for work with viruses, which predispose to a high risk for both laboratory personnel and the community.

Such organisms are categorized under Risk Group IV by WHO. Example, Small pox, Ebola, Lassa fever and others.

Most of these organisms cause serious disease and readily transmitted from on person to another. These laboratories are usually a separate building with strictly controlled access.

Layout of Medical Laboratory

Clinical Laboratory

Clinical Laboratory Floor Plan

Clinical laboratory floor plan, an orderly structure, putting things together into a working order, and making arrangements for undertakings that involve cooperation’s.

The emphasis is on arrangements that enable peoples working together and accomplishing common objectives in an efficient, planned and economic manner.

In a single medical laboratory at least there are two interlocking components of organizations. These are laboratory head and other staff having their own duties and responsibilities.

Clinical Laboratory Floor Plan

Primary health care laboratory

To support primary health care in investigating, controlling and preventing major diseases in the country. Promoting health care by integrated health education.

Main activities

Investigate by referral or testing on site, important diseases and health problems affecting the local community. Such investigations usually include bacterial diseases, parasitic diseases and other causes of illness.

Assist health care worker in deciding the severity of a patient’s conditions. Collect and refer specimens for testing to the district laboratory.

Notify the district hospital at an early stage of any laboratory results of public health importance and send specimens for confirmatory tests.

Screen pregnant women for anemia, proteinuria, malaria, and refer serum for antibody testing and Promote health cares and assists in community health education.

Keep records, which can be used by health authorities in health planning and for epidemiological purposes.

Keep an inventory of stocks and order supplies. Send an informative monthly report to the district hospital laboratory.

District hospital laboratory

In addition to the works stated above, these laboratories have an important role in supervising the work of the peripheral community based laboratories, testing referred specimens, and performing a range of tests compatible with the work of district hospital.

Main activities

Perform a range of tests relevant to the medical, surgical, and public health activities of the district hospital.

Support the work of the community-based laboratories by testing referred specimens, providing reagents, controls, standards, specimen containers, and other essential laboratory supplies.

Refer specimens to the regional laboratory for test (s) that cannot be performed in district laboratory.

Notify the regional laboratory of any result of public health importance and to send specimens for confirmatory tests.

Participate in the external quality assurance programme organized by the regional laboratory. Prepare and send periodical reports to the regional laboratory.

Regional hospital laboratory Duties

In addition to the duties done at the two above lower levels, the regional laboratory assists and supervises the district laboratories. It analyses referred specimens and performs a range of specialized and other tests as required by the work of the regional hospital.

Main activities

Operate a regional blood transfusion center; Prepare reagents, controls, standard solutions and others as found necessary.

Investigate epidemics and perform tests of public health importance in the region; Supervise and support the work of district laboratories.

Send specimens that require special investigation to the central and public health laboratory; Prepare periodical reports and send to the central and public health laboratory.

Central and public health laboratory

The central and public health laboratory is responsible for planning, advising and overall coordinating of medical laboratory services in the region.

Main activities

Formulate a professional code of conduct to medical laboratory personnel. Perform a range of special tests not normally undertaken in the regional laboratories such as viral, histopathological, cytological, immunological, forensic and genetic investigations.

Carry out appropriate research of importance in order to mitigate public health problems. Evaluate new technologies and standardize techniques.

Purchase supplies and equipment’s for the national laboratory service and organize an efficient system of requisition, distribution, and maintenance of equipment.

Communicate and collaborate with International Organizations in promoting laboratory standards. Organize laboratory-teaching seminars and prepare training manuals for the different laboratory-training programmes.

Support the work of the regional hospital laboratories. Organize refreshment training and seminars/ workshops for district and primary health care laboratory personnel.

Prepare training manuals for the different laboratory training programmes. Participate in the prompt laboratory investigation of epidemics and outbreaks of serious illness among communities.

Further Readings