Patient Service Center FAQ

  • What kinds of tests are you running and why?

    Physicians order tests based on the signs and symptoms of your condition. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor during your office visit what tests are being ordered and the reason for them.

  • How much blood do you take?

    The volume depends on what tests are ordered. Most tests require 3-7 milliliters of blood (between a teaspoon and a tablespoon).

  • Do I need to fast before coming in for tests?

    Not all tests require fasting. Your physician should provide you with instructions whether to fast before a blood draw.

  • How long will a blood draw take?

    From the time you register, the process should take approximately 20 minutes. Some tests are timed, however, and may take longer.

  • Do you have instructions for collecting stool samples?

    Instructions for collecting stool samples are provided with the stool collection kits.

  • Why do I have to wait in line to drop off my stool or urine sample?

    We are required to verify patient information, ensure that a correct sample is collected and note if any additional testing is needed.

  • When will my doctor get the results?

    Results for routine tests are usually available within 24 hours. If your physician uses electronic medical records, the results are recorded as soon as technical staff can verify the results. Reports sent by courier arrive within 24 to 48 hours. If your physician receives mailed reports, allow 2-3 days, depending on where your physician is located.

  • Will the lab call me with my test results?

    The lab will not call you with your results. You will need to contact your physician’s office or access your test result via Providence MyChart.

  • Can you mail the results to me, and can you send them to another doctor?

    Your physician can authorize that results be sent to you or another doctor, but the request must come from the physician who ordered the test.

Fasting FAQ

After your specimen is collected, you may resume your normal diet and activities.

  • Why do I have to fast?

    Some test values change following the digestion of food. For example, if you eat lots of sugar, your blood sugar will be high. When you are fasting, we get a baseline result that can be compared over time.

  • Should I continue to take my medications?

    Unless your physician tells you otherwise, continue to take your prescriptions. Ask your physician about over-the-counter medications.

  • I’m hungry. Can I eat anything?

    Sorry, you may not eat anything while fasting.

  • I’m thirsty. Can I have something to drink?

    You may drink only water. Do not drink juice, coffee, tea, diet soda or any other beverage regardless of whether or not it has cream and/or sugar in it.

  • May I chew gum?

    No, not even sugarless. Gum stimulates your digestive system and can alter the test results.

  • May I do my exercise routine?

    No. Exercise can affect the test results.

  • May I smoke?

    No. Smoking can affect the test results.

  • What time should I come to the laboratory?

    Most people find it convenient to stop eating and drinking after 8 p.m. and to arrive at the laboratory early the next morning.