sonora quest labs opinion and editorialBy Dr. Robert Stern

It may surprise you to know that up to 75 percent of health care decisions are impacted by laboratory test results. Considering this statistic, it is also important to know that, in most cases, you have a choice in where the laboratory testing ordered by your health care provider is performed. It makes sense to want the best possible team behind you.

Sonora Quest Laboratories, a joint venture between Banner Health and Quest Diagnostics, is part of the nation’s largest integrated laboratory system with approximately 3,100 employees serving more than 23,000 patients every day throughout Arizona. We offer more routine and specialized tests than any laboratory in the state, performing more than 57 million diagnostic tests per year. Sonora Quest Laboratories is the market share leader in clinical laboratory testing in Arizona.

Through our integrated laboratory network, we see many complex cases that allow us to build a foundation of expertise not available in other laboratories. With more than 70 Patient Service Centers located throughout the state and mobile-friendly online appointment scheduling and results access available at SonoraQuest.com, we’re proud to offer Arizona residents increased convenience to health care as a local laboratory. From the busy metro reference lab to the small-town Patient Service Center, we continually invest in the Arizona community and have primary testing facilities located in Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma.

Our high volume of testing performed within our laboratory network allows us to develop dynamic systems that help to streamline processes and improve quality. In fact, we adhere to the highest standards of clinical laboratory operations, quality assurance and control. All of our laboratories are accredited by College of American Pathologists (CAP) and licensed by CLIA as administered through Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). These agencies’ accreditation requirements include that our laboratory have appropriate and effective policies, procedures and training for employees related to Compliance, Code of Conduct, HIPAA, Quality and Safety.

We scored >99 percent in proficiency testing for our laboratories with our goal being 20 times more stringent than the College of American Pathologists’ goal of 80 percent. We continue to strive to meet the highest standards of laboratory services for our patients, their physicians and health care providers.

We are committed to the highest ethical standards and we comply with all applicable laws and regulations that govern our business operations. This includes, but is not limited to, those laws, rules and regulations governing testing reimbursed under Medicare and Medicaid programs. We certify that all Sonora Quest Laboratories’ employees comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required safety training and other regulatory required training as outlined in our comprehensive Safety Manual upon hire and annually thereafter. The various forms of training include the OSHA Blood borne Pathogen Standard, OSHA General Safety Standards, Department of Transportation (DOT) and Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) regulatory training requirements. Each of our facilities comply with local, state, and federal regulatory requirements.

Over the last decade we have proven our focus on quality, recognized by numerous awards representing our hard work and commitment to quality patient care. Sonora Quest Laboratories is the only health care company ever to receive our state’s highest quality award, the Arizona Governor’s Award for Quality. No other organization has attained this award since. Other recent industry recognition and awards include: No. 1 bioscience firm in Arizona (2012-2016) by Ranking Arizona/AZ Big Media, seven consecutive “Best Places to Work” awards from the Phoenix Business Journal, six consecutive “Top 40 Most Admired Companies in Arizona” recognitions by Arizona Business Magazine most recently in 2015 and winner of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Arizona’s 2011 Business Ethics Award.

When selecting a physician, you want someone who is well-trained and experienced. Your physician wants a lab that is equally well-trained and experienced, and so should you. These are just a few of the reasons Sonora Quest Laboratories is the leading diagnostic testing laboratory in the state of Arizona and why it matters which lab you and your physician choose.

Dr. Robert Stern is Sonora Quest Laboratories’ medical director and a board certified pathologist who has been active in patient care across the country for 24 years. He currently practices in the Phoenix, Ariz. metropolitan region, serving as the vice president of Clin-Path Associates, P.L.C., an Executive Committee member of Pathology Specialists of Arizona, one of the largest pathology group practices in the United States.

To learn more about ordering your own laboratory testing, visit My Lab ReQuest™. Find aSonora Quest Laboratories Patient Service Center or schedule an appointment today. For more information, visit www.sonoraquest.com or call (602) 685-5000.

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