Laboratory testing is performed off-site through Calgary Lab Services (CLS). Appointments can be made online at calgarylabservices.com
or by telephone at 403-770-5136.
It is strongly advised to book your appointments to avoid lengthy wait times. Laboratory service locations and operating times are listed on the back of the CLS requisition or online.
Some laboratory tests are processed through the provincial laboratory. These tests sometimes have a different requisition; however, they are still collected through Calgary Lab Services.
Most laboratory results are reported back to the physician within 24-48 hours. However, there are exceptions. Microbiology, antibody testing and pap smear results are examples of tests that can take days or weeks for results.
It is important for patients to know that family physicians are not alerted when results from investigations ordered by another physician are available, unless the other physician specifically requests the results to be sent to the family physician’s office.
There are several diagnostic imaging providers within the Calgary area. A physician will typically supply the patient with a company-specific diagnostic imaging requisition based on his/her individual preference or based on proximity to the patient’s workplace or home. However, these company-specific requisitions are accepted by ANY radiology provider in Calgary.
X-ray imaging is done on a walk-in basis, but other imaging studies require an appointment. Many physician-requested diagnostic imaging such as ultrasounds, mammograms and bone scans can be booked directly by the patient.
The booking number for a radiology provider is found at the top of their requisition form, or online at the company website. A list of locations can also be found on the requisition form or the company website.
If a physician feels an urgent ultrasound is necessary, it is best booked through our office. Your physician will arrange this with the front office staff.
More advanced imaging, such as CT or MRI, can only be booked by our office. We will submit a request by fax, and notification of an appointment is usually provided within 1-2 weeks. If you have not heard back regarding an appointment after 2 weeks, please call the office to follow up. Occasionally there can be a failure in communication, so it is recommended that all patients follow-up on their appointment status.
In Alberta referral to a specialist must be initiated by a physician. Notification of a referral appointment can take up to 3 weeks, though the actual appointment can sometimes still be several months away. If you have not heard from our clinic or from the specialist’s office directly within 3 weeks, please call our clinic for an update.
If you feel an appointment with a specialist is no longer needed or you need to change the date of an appointment, please provide the specialist with adequate notification so the appointment time can be used for someone else in need.
Please notify our office if you decide to cancel an appointment with a specialist. It is important that your physician knows that your situation has changed.
Referrals are not required for private pay medical services, such as cosmetic medical treatments.
Recommended vaccinations change over time. Current vaccinations recommendations can be
found online through Alberta Health at http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/immunization.html
Information on vaccinations is also available through Health Canada at
Your physician will discuss recommended vaccinations at your Periodic Health Review
appointments, and possibly other appointments as well.
All individuals should record and store their vaccination history in a safe place. Unfortunately,
there is no provincial or national vaccination history that records every vaccination given, so
it is important that patients track and record their own vaccinations.
All routine childhood vaccinations are administered only through Community Health Centres (sometimes called Public Health Centres). These vaccines are not stocked at the family physician’s office. See Resources - Community Health Centres for more information.
Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB)
If you have been injured at work in a field where your employer is required by law to have Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta coverage, reporting your injury to the WCB Alberta is mandatory. The costs of all medical services related to a work-related injury are covered by WCB Alberta, and not by the Alberta Health Care plan.
Processing paperwork for WCB-related complaints is extensive and onerous. For both these reasons, we request that all non-WCB medical complaints (simple or complex) be deferred to another appointment .
Patients sometimes state that they “do not wish to go through WCB”; this is simply not an option as we are bound by provincial regulations.
Electronic Medical Record and Netcare
Instead of paper charts, many clinics, including ours, use an electronic medical record (EMR). There is more than one type of EMR available, and a clinic chooses the one it feels best suits its needs. At present, individual medical clinics operate independently, and these medical records are not inter-connected.
Alberta Netcare is the name for all the projects related to the provincial Electronic Health Record (EHR), which is a secure and confidential electronic system of Alberta patients' health information. Through Alberta Netcare, health care providers can access most laboratory and diagnostic imaging reports, operative reports, and medication profiles. Occasionally, specialist consultation reports are also available on Netcare; however, the majority of specialist consultations are delivered via fax directly to the referring physician’s office. Medical records from your family physician’s office, or any other walk-in clinic or specialist clinic you are seen at, are not available through Netcare.
Pediatric Health Examinations (Well Child Check-up)
It is recommended that infants and young children be evaluated at the following ages: 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years and 5 years. This may vary in individual situations.
Beyond 5 years there are no clear recommendations on how often your child should be assessed for routine evaluation. Generally, this is something that can be discussed with your physician .
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s health outside of the recommended regular check-ups, please do not hesitate to call for an appointment. No concern is too small, and we are always happy to provide reassurance, if that is what is needed.
Complex Care Plans
For patients with multiple or complex health problems, physicians may complete a Complex Care Plan on an annual basis. The purpose of a Complex Care Plan is to allow patients to better understand and participate in the management of their chronic or complex disease. Working with his or her physician, the patient can set targets and goals, and outline manageable steps to meet these goals. Periodic reviews of this plan makes achieving these goals more likely, which in turn leads to better health outcomes.
The process is meant to help build a collaborative relationship between the physician and the patient regarding the patient’s health. There is no cost to the patient for this process.
Choosing Wisely Canada
Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC) is a campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments and make smart and effective choices to ensure high-quality care.
According to the Choosing Wisely Website, up to 30% of tests, treatments, and procedures in Canada are potentially unnecessary. Unnecessary tests, treatments, and procedures do not add value for patients and potentially expose patients to harm. Further, they often lead to more testing, which sometimes results in investigating findings which may be clinically meaningless and may never affect a patient during his or her lifetime. This in turn, may result in unwarranted stress for patients and their families, and the unnecessary consumption of precious time and resources.
for more information
We support the choosing wisely campaign, and agree that for a test to be useful it must provide information that is clinically meaningful and potentially helpful in directing care. The core of the Choosing Wisely Campaign is a strong physician-patient relationship that allows for clear communication and open discussion about why a certain investigation is, or sometimes is not, being ordered.