Laboratory Medicine is a medical specialty and a cornerstone of patient care influencing 70-80% of all medical decisions by providing diagnostic and treatment insight into the cause, nature, and effects of the disease life cycle.
Important update: During this COVID-19 situation, please do not submit applications requesting funding for non-urgent OOP/OOC testing. Priority is being given to urgent testing only.
Please note: Given the current circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak, the OOP/OOC Program will extend all issued funding approvals beyond the decision letter’s stated 3-month expiry date. This will limit patient exposure at laboratory facilities and specimen collection sites. Due to the increased pressure on BC’s laboratory resources, please only submit funding applications required for urgent priority laboratory and genetics testing.
The Ministry of Health recently approved fecal calprotectin testing for BC patients treated with a biologic agent (e.g. adalimumab, infliximab or vedolizumab). Starting August 15, 2019, fecal calprotectin testing is available for patients who meet this clinical requirement. Fecal calprotectin testing for other clinical indications is not approved at this time, and therefore, is not funded by the Ministry after August 15.
Calprotectin is a protein released from white blood cells during the inflammatory process. Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, have high levels of calprotectin in their stool. Fecal calprotectin is a non-invasive test used to monitor disease status and treatment efficacy. The amount of fecal calprotectin in a stool sample is proportional to the amount of intestinal inflammation; increases and decreases in fecal calprotectin concentration reflect bowel damage and healing, respectively.
Fecal calprotectin testing can be requested using the Standard Outpatient Laboratory Requisition. Only patients receiving biologic agents are eligible for MSP payable testing. Requests for all other clinical indications are patient pay. For more information, please refer to the bulletins below.
Prompted by the introduction of “X” as an option for sex identification on government documents, laboratories across the province collaborated to develop best practice recommendations to meet the needs of our gender diverse patients. This guideline primarily addresses the laboratory registration of patients with the “X” sex identifier, provides a list of tests of interest when monitoring gender transitions, and provides guidance for managing reference ranges for gender-transitioning patients.
As of December 18, 2018, officers of law enforcement agencies who suspect that an individual has been operating a motor vehicle while impaired have the right to demand a blood sample. This laboratory bulletin is intended to provide provincial laboratory medicine leaders with general information and guidance concerning the Criminal Code amendments.
Laboratory services in British Columbia are administered under the Laboratory Services Act (LSA). The provision of laboratory services in the community and acute care settings fall under the authority of the Act and Laboratory Services Regulation.
On October 1, 2015, the Laboratory Services Act (LSA) came into force. For more information, please see the Act and associated Regulation linked below.