Skip to Main Content

Schedule certain appointments online. Get started.

Laboratory Medicine

At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, our goal is to provide comprehensive laboratory testing services that are timely, accurate and convenient. We offer a variety of testing disciplines within the clinical laboratory, including hematology, chemistry, microbiology, serology, urinalysis, point-of-care testing and molecular biology. 

  • A multidisciplinary team of laboratory professionals work together to provide medical, technical, and managerial expertise and to ensure quality testing of patient specimens. The team at Virginia Mason includes several pathologists who have dual board certification in anatomic and clinical pathology, and a board-certified PhD microbiologist. The Franciscan labs utilize the services of board-certified pathologists at CellNetix Pathology & Laboratories. All of our labs are served by a centralized blood bank system, BloodWorks Northwest, along with internal transfusion services departments. 

    Interpretive reports are provided routinely by pathologists for serum protein electrophoresis, immunofixation, abnormal hematology slide review, body fluid examination, bronchoalveolar lavage evaluations and hypercoagulation studies. Physicians may request additional consultations in laboratory medicine.

  • Phlebotomy staff members are the clinical laboratory's “frontline professionals,” as they’re in regular contact with patients throughout the medical center. These employees are licensed by the state of Washington and trained to perform phlebotomy for all the blood tests performed by the clinical laboratory. Phlebotomists are located throughout Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, including the hospital campuses, clinics and satellite clinic locations. The phlebotomy staff performs hundreds of blood collections each day at the highest level of performance.

  • The clinical laboratory's central specimen processing staff triage all patient specimens that arrive in the laboratory for testing, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This group is critical to the operations of the lab, as they verify physician orders, ensuring the correct tests are performed and the proper specimen is submitted for analysis. The laboratory specimen processing staff coordinates the initial process for all of these requests to ensure accurate and timely patient testing results.

  • The clinical microbiology laboratory provides microbiology services in aerobic and anaerobic bacteriology, mycology, mycobacteriology, parasitology, virology and molecular diagnosis of infectious disease. Other testing includes viral load testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and autoimmune disease detection. The department works closely with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health's Infectious Disease Services and Infection Prevention Department. The Microbiology Department is staffed by medical technologists and microbiology specialists who can provide information and guidance regarding available testing methods and indications.

  • The clinical chemistry laboratory utilizes advanced technology to provide analysis for routine and special chemistry requests, including serological testing. Chemistry provides around-the-clock testing for high-volume analytes and those requiring rapid turnaround times. Other chemistry tests include those used in the diagnosis of endocrine disorders and infectious diseases. The chemistry laboratory offers hundreds of different tests, ranging from routine tests such as glucose and cholesterol to specialized tests for HIV and Hepatitis screening. The Chemistry Department is staffed by medical technologists and chemistry specialists who can provide information and guidance regarding available testing methods and indications.

  • The hematology laboratory utilizes the most current and techniques to offer a wide variety of tests to aid in the diagnosis of blood disorders. In addition, the hematology lab performs extensive coagulation and urinalysis testing. The laboratory works closely with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health's Hematology and Oncology Department to provide up-to-date testing for the diagnosis of leukemia, lymphomas and other hematopoietic or immunological disorders. Hematology utilizes emerging technologies to provide rapid detection and therapeutic options for coagulation or bleeding disorders. Urinalysis testing is performed around the clock to assist physicians in diagnosing urinary tract infections and systemic metabolic disorders such as kidney or liver diseases. The department is staffed by medical technologists and specialists who can provide information and guidance regarding available testing methods and indications.

  • Flow cytometry utilizes advanced techniques for counting and examining microscopic particles, such as cells and chromosomes, by suspending them in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus. Flow cytometry is routinely used in diagnosing blood and tissue cancers; it also has many other applications in both research and clinical practice. This team is staffed by medical technologists and specialists who can provide information and guidance regarding available testing methods and indications. The Cytometry Department is directed by a pathologist who specializes in flow cytometry and has extensive experience correlating findings with anatomic pathology test results.

  • The point-of-care testing team provides patients with bedside testing in the hospital and clinic settings. Testing includes finger stick glucose, urinalysis, pregnancy and rapid strep, all in the clinic setting. In addition, tests performed in the hospital setting include blood chemistries, blood and clotting tests. Results can be viewed immediately at the time of testing by the health care provider for rapid action. The point-of-care team consists of medical technologists and medical laboratory technicians who are responsible for monitoring testing protocols, training other health care providers to perform tests, evaluating equipment, and ensuring quality results are performed at the patient bedside and at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health clinics.

  • Transfusion services is staffed by transfusion support technicians who are active 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing blood products to health care teams for the care of our patients. The transfusion service staff coordinates and distributes multiple types of blood products provided by BloodWorks Northwest to patients undergoing surgery or other therapeutic procedures at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. In addition, they coordinate the distribution of tissue to be transplanted to patients undergoing surgical procedures.