ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reduce Medical Laboratory General Liability Insurance

Updated on November 27, 2009
Medical laboratory liability
Medical laboratory liability

Medical laboratories obtain samples of human tissue and body fluids from patients and perform analytical tests to provide physicians data on which to base diagnoses and treatment of disease. Some laboratories also specialize in testing services that may involve the use of radioactive materials. Large labs can process hundreds of thousands of samples in a single year and have thousands of patients pass through their offices and procedures rooms.

With so many people and so many potentially hazardous specimens moving through your facility it is important that you develop a solid general liability loss control program. This article will provide some basic steps you can build on to help reduce your general liability claims.

  • Inspect the condition of your reception area, waiting room, and procedure/collection/ testing areas daily. Focus on identifying slip and fall hazards. Remember that many patients coming through your facility are elderly, in poor health, worried about symptoms of disease, or in pain. They may be distracted and upset. You want to ensure that floors, carpets, pathways, steps, and stairs are clean and clear of tripping hazards, are slip-resistant, and in good repair. Ensure that you have enough chairs so people can sit while they wait, and that chairs are in good condition. Make waiting rooms as pleasant and soothing as possible; ensure there is enough room so people are not crowded, which contributes to stress.

  • Design collection stations and treatment rooms so that patient privacy is protected. Panels between open blood-draw stations are usually enough; as are standard restroom facilities for collecting urine samples. For more invasive procedures, such as tissue biopsy, patients should be afforded the privacy of a closed room.

Biohazard bag
Biohazard bag
  • Implement a written infection control plan. Include protocols for daily cleaning and of all collection and testing rooms and sterilization of equipment. Establish parameters for your employees, especially medical laboratory technicians who are engaged in specimen collection and work directly with the public, for limiting infections. Employees who are ill, such as having a cold, should not be allowed to work with the public until their symptoms are over. Consider having all employees, including receptionists, wear surgical masks to limit spread of airborne virus.

  • Establish a written procedure to ensure confidential test results. Results should never be released to anyone other than the treating physician unless a special patient waiver is signed. If you release data through electronic means (such as email), tamper proof systems are imperative. Include a warning with each emails that data is not secure and that “hard copy” reports are the final authority for test results. If you release data on CD ROM or other portable formats, ensure that it is write protected so recipients can only read the data.

  • Ensure that you follow proper procedures for the disposal of contaminated wastes, including specimens, needles, syringes, scalpels, and bandages. Sharps should always be placed in puncture proof containers for disposal. See Resources below for my article on How to Control Environmental Pollution Risks in a Hospital, which describes methods proper handling biohazardous waste. Such wastes, especially potentially infectious human tissue samples, must be disposed of following mandated guidelines. Only a fully licensed hazardous waste hauler may remove and dispose of biohazards. Make sure you have a written contract with the hauler that includes a hold-harmless agreement in your favor and that the hauler has pollution liability insurance with limits of at least $1 million. Obtain the hauler’s certificate of insurance.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)