Laboratory Services

About Laboratory Services

  • Specimen Collection Handbook

    Pathology Services Code Brown Sub Plan (PDF 66KB)
    **Intranet only**

    Laboratory Services provides a comprehensive range of diagnostic testing and clinical and consultative services to The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) and The Royal Women's Hospital (RWH), as well as to other service providers

    Our services are provided through laboratories and collection centres at both RCH and RWH with a Core Laboratory located at each site providing services 24 hours a day, 7 days per week

    Our laboratories are compliant with the international standard for laboratory accreditation - AS/ISO 15189-2012 - and are fully accredited by the  National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)


    The services provided by Laboratory Services are diverse and are provided by the following laboratories and sections:

    Department Description
    Anatomical Pathology Provides a full diagnostic service for routine histopathological examination as well as specialised services such as frozen sections, fine needle aspiration, post mortem and electron microscopy
    Andrology Performs diagnostic testing for couples presenting with infertility and provides a sperm banking service for later use in donor insemination or IVF procedures 
    Biochemistry Performs routine and highly technical and scientific assays for clinicians at both The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Women’s Hospital Francis Perry House
    Blood Transfusion Provides information and guidelines for transfusion practices and blood products
    Cell Therapy and Flow Cytometry Provides cell manipulation for blood cell transplants and flow cytometric analysis of cells
    Clinical Haematology Provides clinical and diagnostic services relating to non-malignant haematological conditions
    Genetic testing Provides a range of tests to confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a patient's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder
    Haematology Provides specialist diagnostic testing for disorders of thrombosis and haemostasis including Haemophilia, Von Willebrand disease, Lupus anticoagulant, factor assays, inhibitor studies, and thrombophilia screening. 
    Immunology Provides a comprehensive range of tests for the diagnosis of immune deficiency, autoimmunity and atopy 
    Microbiology Provides clinical and diagnostic microbiological services (Bacteriology, Virology, Microbial Serology and Molecular Microbiology)
    Pathology Accounts Responsible for pathology test invoicing and processing of payments 
    Pathology Collection Provides pathology collection services for RCH and RWH, Frances Perry House, and at Private Consulting Rooms, Suite 6, Level 2, The Royal Women's Hospital, 20 Flemington Road, Parkville 3052.
    Point of Care Testing (POCT)Provides information and guidelines for the management of Point of Care Testing devices at The Royal Chidren's Hospital and limited devices at The Royal Women's Hospital.
    RWH Core LaboratoryProvides routine biochemistry testing including reproductive hormones, routine haematology testing and a blood bank and transfusion service at The Royal Women's Hospital


    Consultation will help you get the best value from our pathology services.  If you have a special need or query, senior laboratory staff are always happy to assist

    Specimen Collection and Identification

    Pathology Request Form (PDF 55KB)

    Test results will be useless or possibly totally misleading if testing is not performed on a valid specimen

    A valid specimen is one that is:

    • Collected from the correct patient, into the correct container, and has received the correct handling before testing
    • Not contaminated by IV fluid.  Contamination can cause high results (infusion of a concentrate), low results (specimen dilution) or can have unpredictable effects (eg. drug interference)
    • Not haemolysed.  Haemolysis results in the release of cellular components (notably potassium) into the plasma/serum and can also cause interference with some test methods.  In vitro haemolysis can be caused by using excessive force when withdrawing blood in a syringe or by use of a small bore needle
    • NB: for ward based analysers - haemolysis cannot be seen in whole blood

    For information regarding our requirements for request forms, patient identification and specimen labelling, see the RCH Specimen Collection Policy or the RWH Specimen Collection Policy.

    For information regarding appropriate containers for specimens, please see the  Specimen Collection Handbook.

    For information regarding collection centres, please see  Pathology Collection.

    Turn Around Times (TAT)

    Tests needed for immediate patient care are performed on demand.  TAT for common automated tests generally range between 1-4 hours for routine samples.  Please do not mark tests as URGENT unless a faster TAT is required as this has an impact on the laboratory's ability to deal with genuinely urgent samples

    Most other common tests are performed daily and less common tests less frequently.  See the  Specimen Collection Handbook for information regarding test frequency


    Laboratory Services is involved in numerous research projects, some of which are instigated from within our departments and others in which our involvement is the provision of scientific or clinical advice, and/or diagnostic testing services

    For more information regarding Laboratory Services involvement with research projects, please contact the 

    Publication lists are available from relevant senior staff