Lab Questions & Answers

When you visit any lab, we want you to have a comfortable and convenient experience. Learn the answers to several frequently asked questions about laboratory services & blood work.

Effective June 1, 2021 Mercy’s outreach lab services transitioned to Quest Diagnostics. Please consult your provider for a referral to a lab service site, as the decisions on testing facilities are always made by providers and patients together.

We chose to strengthen our relationships with Quest because it is one of the top diagnostic laboratories in the nation and has served Mercy well in the past. Most patients who choose Quest will see lower prices on outreach lab services bills. Quest offers excellent quality, a broad menu of tests and extensive health care coverage. Quest also offers the convenience of more locations for sample collection.


If you are referred to Quest for testing by a Mercy provider, your lab results will be shared with you via MyMercy.

We apologize for the service delays you experienced in recent lab visits and receiving your test results. Technical issues caused delays in transmitting lab information between our electronic record system with Quest. We believe those technical problems are fixed. To ensure these data flows remain stable, we will continuously monitor the flow of information.


We are working with Quest on operational changes that will return your lab experience to the high levels of service we expect of ourselves and you deserve. Quest is a very willing contributor to the process. A few of these changes could take a little time, so we appreciate your patience.  

Insurances accepted by Quest can be found at

All standing orders at Mercy’s outreach lab transitioned to Quest on June 1, 2021.

Please call Quest Patient Service Center at 866-MyQuest for any questions about your service at Quest labs.

Please call Quest’s patient billing customer service at 866-254-3859 or visit the Quest website for questions about billing. You will need the information from your invoice to speak with a customer service representative.

Orders for lab testing are good for one calendar year, but be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the preferred timing for your tests.

There’s a good chance your lab tests won’t require you to prepare at all, but follow your doctor’s instructions for fasting or other preparation. Fasting means not eating or drinking for a specified time period before your test to ensure your results are accurate.

It depends on the tests your doctor orders. For blood work, don’t eat anything or drink liquids other than water for eight hours prior to arriving at the lab. For a lipid panel, a 12-hour fast is required. Don’t drink coffee or juice, chew gum, use tobacco or eat while you’re fasting. It’s OK to drink water and take your medications as directed by your provider before testing.

A phlebotomist – a technician who specializes in drawing blood – will call you into a private area, where your blood will be drawn or other samples will be taken, depending on the test you’re having. We’ll explain the process before performing the test.


A phlebotomist uses a small needle for blood samples. The procedure is quick and relatively painless – usually, patients feel a pinch. It’s not unusual to experience slight bruising at the site. The phlebotomist will keep pressure on the site and then apply gauze or a band-aid. If you’re using blood thinners, pressure may be kept on the site a little longer.

Most tests performed in our own facilities are shared electronically via MyMercy. More complex tests may be sent to special labs, and you'll need to check with your doctor’s office to get your test results.

Results for routine lab tests performed at Mercy are usually available the next morning. Complex tests sent to special labs will take longer and may vary based on type; confirm the timing of these tests with your doctor's office.

A toxicology test (“tox screen”) would need to be performed to show the presence of drugs or other chemicals in your blood. A tox screen can be used to check for one specific drug or up to 30 drugs at once. These may include prescription medicines, vitamins, supplements, alcohol and illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Testing is often done on urine or saliva instead of blood. Many drugs will show in urine or saliva samples, and these tests are easier to perform than blood tests.

Mercy offers a full range of corporate health and occupational medicine services to businesses large and small. Including onsite health and wellness as well as drug and alcohol testing. Learn more.