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Disruption to Laboratory Services

When to submit a notification 

Operators submit a notification when there is a disruption in laboratory services.

  • For a foreseeable disruption notification must be made 30 days prior to the disruption.
  • For unforeseeable disruptions notification must be made as soon as practicable or two (2) business days after the disruption has started, which ever is earlier.

Required information for notification 

The operator must provide pertinent details of the disruption, including:

  • the extent of the disruption;
  • the anticipated duration of the disruption;
  • what actions are being undertaken to restore services;
  • what plan is in place to provide alternate services, if required during the disruption; and
  • regular reports on the progress and actions being taken to restore service

The operator must also communicate the disruption to patients, practioners and clinics who use the service including available alternate services, the anticipated duration of the disruption and when services are going to be restored. 

Within 30 days of the end of the disruption the operator is required to provide a review of the disruption including the steps taken to resolve it and prevent reoccurrence.

How to submit your notification 

All reports of disruptions must be reported to Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services. 

Supporting Documents

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Please submit the notification of change form via the button above. 

As of July 1, 2020, the new upload tool works best with the latest version of Google Chrome. Please update your bookmarks.

About disruptions

A disruption is any temporary interruption to the regular operations of a laboratory facility. Disruptions can be caused by foreseeable events (such as a temporary reduction in hours to manage staffing shortages across multiple facilities) and unforeseeable events (any unplanned situation such as inclement weather or staff illness). 

Any permanent changes must follow the approval or notification processes as described in the Outpatient Laboratory Facilities Manual. 

Operators must work to resolve service interruptions as quickly as possible. However, depending on the severity of the disruption, operators may initially be given a period of up to 90 days to resolve the issue. If the disruption continues after those 90 days, an extension may be granted.

During the extension period, laboratory operators must work with Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services to develop a strategy to resolve the issue and ensure continuity of services. 

The notification process 

‎Foreseeable disruptions must be reported 30 days before the start of the disruption, or as soon as possible. Unforeseeable disruptions must be reported no later than two (2) business days after the disruption occurred or began. 

‎Reports must include details about the extent and anticipated duration of the disruption, actions taken to resolve the disruption, and mitigation plans to ensure access to alternate services and minimize impacts to patient care. Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services may request additional information to assess the level of impact to patient access and quality of services. 

All reports of disruptions must be reported to Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services. 
Submit the report through the secure upload tool

Laboratory operators must provide reasonable communication to patients and practitioners about the anticipated duration of the disruption and alternative services to ensure community awareness and continuity of services. ‎


The new policy strengthens the collaborative relationship between laboratory operators, Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services, and the Ministry of Health as they work together to resolve service interruptions and ensure continued access to services. the policy clarifies existing communication channels and laboratory operators' obligations to report and respond to temporary service interruptions as described in the Labotory Services Act and Laboratory Services Regulation. ‎

After service is restored

A review of the disruption including steps take to resolve it and prevent reoccurrence must occur within 30-days of its resolution and be sent to PLMS. 

SOURCE: Disruption to Laboratory Services ( )
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