Can Medical Laboratories Tell Patients There’s No Need for Overnight Fasting before a Cholesterol Test? Denmark’s Experience Says Answer is ‘Yes!’
Comparing results from more than 300,000 individuals, international experts recommend using non-fasting blood screening for most cholesterol and triglyceride tests
Every clinical laboratory offering cholesterol testing across the globe must deal with a common issue: because patients are told to fast overnight before giving a blood specimen, patient service centers (PSCs) and blood collection centers are overcrowded when they first open their doors in the morning. That’s because hungry patients want their sample collected so they then go eat something as soon as possible.
It has long been recognized that the overnight fasting requirement for collecting blood samples used in cholesterol testing is unpleasant for patients. It also adds cost to the healthcare system because labs must staff an adequate number of phlebotomists in their PSCs to handle the predictable early morning rush of hungry patients wanting to be done with this task. Meanwhile, in the afternoons, patient traffic in the same PSCs can dwindle to near nothing, leaving phlebotomists in those PSCs with little to do. (more…)