Medical Laboratory Observer cited Sentara Laboratory Services for supporting consumer-driven care. More than 700 professionals at 12 Sentara hospitals perform more than ten million tests annually.

Sentara Laboratory Services named 'Lab of the Year'

More than 70 percent of the information in a patient’s medical record comes from laboratory tests. Laboratory services are vital to accurate diagnoses of diseases and effective plans of care. Sometimes it’s a sample in a traditional glass tube. Sometimes, pathologists huddle around a computer diagnosing biopsied tissue while a surgeon with a patient on the table waits for their call to the OR to decide how to proceed.

The respected peer-reviewed journal Medical Laboratory Observer has named Sentara Laboratory Services (SLS) ‘Lab of the Year’ for 2016. The SLS team offered a compelling nomination covering six required categories: customer service, productivity, teamwork, education and training, strategic outlook and inspection results. While many lab tests are performed for hospital inpatients, there is also significant use of labs by outpatients.

“SLS has embraced the concept of consumer-driven health care,” the magazine said in a news release, “and partnered with the Sentara IT team to educate patients in signing up for MyChart, the Sentara eCare app which allows patients to view their health information on their personal electronic devices.” Sentara MyChart currently enjoys more than 120,000 subscribers in Hampton Roads.

More than 700 laboratory professionals at 12 Sentara hospitals provide diagnostic services for in-house and community clients. Sentara laboratories created a common IT platform that is being implemented across all 12 hospitals so patients presenting anywhere in the Sentara system can be assured of an up-to-date record of their previous results. The consolidated IT platform will speed delivery of lab results and add convenience for patients, who can present to any Sentara laboratory in the system for blood draws and other services.

Sentara Laboratory Services also features a robust self-testing program (Sentara Self-Test) for consumers, who can order blood tests and pay online without a physician order and present at any Sentara draw site.

“We are focused on the needs of our patients in hospitals and the community,” said Lou Ann Wyer, director of Sentara Laboratory Services. “From walk-in collection sites to esoteric testing in our reference laboratory, we offer many options and quality results to patients and physicians for diagnosis and treatment.”

Services & Technologies

  • The only reference laboratory (Sentara Norfolk General) servicing hospitals, physician practices, nursing homes, non-profit and educational institutions.
  • Molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, and special coagulation laboratories.
  • Nationally recognized point-of-care program in which nurses, respiratory therapists and other trained professionals perform tests on hand-held devices at the bedside.
  • The only biosafety Level 3 microbiology laboratory performing mycobacteriology in the region.
  • Lab safety program with safety coaches in all labs.
  • Organizational structure supports system alignment to achieve process standardization, financial efficiencies, compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices.


Community Education

  • Pathologists support EVMS medical school residency program
  • Lab Services supports student rotations for medical technology, histology, molecular, cytology, phlebotomy
  • Laboratorians provide lectureships to universities and community colleges