Lab Services

Lab tests can help you and your doctor gain a better understanding of your health and make more informed choices. Depend on the expert laboratory professionals at Essentia Health for high-quality laboratory services and prompt, accurate results.

Why Do I Need a Lab Test?

Your doctor may recommend a lab test to check your overall health or help diagnose a medical condition. Count on Essentia for comprehensive lab services standardized to ensure quality and overseen by experienced pathologists.

Lab Services We Offer

Trust your lab service needs to specialists who perform more than five million lab tests for hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and research centers annually.

Take advantage of lab services such as:

  • Body fluid testing, including blood tests and urinalysis
  • Testing of cells and tissues taken during a smear test, biopsy, or surgery
  • Genetic testing
  • Microbiology tests, which look for the presence of bacteria, viruses, and other causes of disease in your body

Medical Insight: Lab Testing Equipment Video Transcript


The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health Medical Insight. Tracy Briggs, Essentia Health Medical Insight Host

TRACY BRIGGS: The average child will have strep throat at least once while growing up. Many will have it repeated times, but a new machine at Essentia Health is helping parents get answers faster.

Machine parts move robotically

It's called the GeneXpert Infinity, and it now provides polymerase chain reaction, or PCR testing, for RSV, strep, influenza, and many more conditions. The machines will be located in 60 Essentia labs, 48 of those in clinics. In the past, this technology has primarily only been available at hospital laboratories, which is far less convenient for patients.

Keri Rogne, Essentia Health Medical Lab Scientist

It'sKERI ROGNE: Exciting. And the fact that, again, we can place this type of technology in our clinical setting to give our patients accurate results, it's exciting that we're one of the first health care systems leading this one step approach for influenza and strep. TRACY BRIGGS: Currently, if you suspect your child has strep throat, a doctor will perform a rapid antigen test. If that test comes back positive, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

Throat exams

The problem is, the rapid strep test isn't overly sensitive. So about a third of the time the test will yield a false negative, meaning your child actually does have strep, but has to wait for further testing to confirm it.

KERI ROGNE: On children, we have to do a culture and that can take up to 48 hours to get a result back, which is a long time to wait for a callback, especially if you hadn't been on antibiotics yet. And this testing will eliminate that, and will give you the accurate result that day that you go in.

TRACY BRIGGS: In fact, Rogne says with PCR testing, you could expect an accurate result 98. 2% to 100% of the time. With faster, more accurate results, you or your child will be on the road to recovery sooner, rather than later. And the rapid result will ease crowded clinic waiting rooms as influenza and strep season begins. With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.


How to Prepare for Lab Work

The way you prepare for a lab test depends on the type of test. Talk to your care team about how you should get ready for your specific test and follow their instructions. Tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you take.

Your Test Results

You’ll appreciate Essentia’s coordinated, efficient approach to your care. Your test results will be shared with your primary care doctor, specialists and other members of your care team so that everyone is on the same page.

For most tests performed in our laboratories, results will be available within 24-48 hours after your specimen is received. Microbiology, pathology and specimens sent to an outside lab for testing may take up to a week. Your doctor will give you your test results and, if needed, talk to you about treatment options or refer you to a specialist.

Patients who have MyChart will also be able to access test results via the MyChart portal. More Information

Accredited Laboratories

Trust that our laboratory professionals will process your test sample in a timely and cost-effective manner using established methods and advanced technology. Most Essentia labs are accredited by The Joint Commission. Many also are certified or accredited by the:

  • American Association of Blood Banks
  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment
  • College of American Pathologists
  • Commission of Office Laboratory Accreditation
  • Department of Health for Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin
  • Food and Drug Administration

To see the accreditation each lab has by location, view our Essentia awards and recognition list.

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