UNDERSTANDING LABORATORY REPORTING LIMITS

Yes, the hospital must report findings from out-of-state reference labs. Please include these findings in your electronic lab report messages if your laboratory information system (LIS) is able to do so. If not, continue to submit these reports to public health by fax or mail.

Some items included on lab reports deal with administrative or clerical information:

The heart of a laboratory report is the presentation of the results and the discussion of those results. In some formats, "Results" and "Discussion" appear as separate sections. However, P.B. Medawar [1979] makes a strong case that the two should appear together, particularly when you have many results to present (otherwise, the audience is faced with a "dump" of information that is impossible to synthesize). Much here depends upon your experiment and the purpose of your laboratory report. Therefore, pay attention to what your laboratory instructor requests. Also, use your judgment. For instance, combine these sections when the discussion of your first result is needed to understand your second result, but separate these sections when it is useful to discuss the results as a whole after all results are reported.


Retention of clinical laboratory result reports:

Below is a sample lab report assignment from a UW-Madison bacteriology course.

You are expected to write a lab report for each experiment that you perform in Chem 201/202. Generally speaking, these reports are separate documents from your lab notebook. Each report will be evaluated on its own merits as a technical document, i.e., as a useful and complete description of your scientific work.


Scientific research is a group activity. Individual scientists perform experiments to test hypotheses about biological phenomena. After experiments are completed and duplicated, researchers attempt to persuade others to accept or reject their hypotheses by presenting the data and their interpretations. The lab report or the scientific paper is the vehicle of persuasion; when it is published, it is available to other scientists for review. If the results stand up to criticism, they become part of the accepted body of scientific knowledge unless later disproved.You should not assume, though, that this organization will serve all your laboratory reports. In other words, one organization does not "fit" all experiments. Rather, you should pay attention to the organization requested by your instructor who has chosen an organization that best serves your experiments.