Frequently Asked Questions
What are laboratory tests?
What is a health screening package?
Health screening is like the NCT for a car: In the way an NCT looks for most common and likely safety issues to be repaired to lower risk on the road, health screening looks for most common and likely conditions and diseases that require further attention reducing health risks in life.
The screening packages allow getting a focussed insight of the status of someone’s health. Packages contain a range of tests performed on a sample of blood, urine or other fluids or tissues from the body. Note that most of Leeuwenhoek’s packages require a blood and urine sample only. The tests detect levels of components in the sample such as glucose, cholesterol and iron. Combinations of various components inform us about:
1. The functioning of an individual organ (for example the liver or kidney);
2. A condition involving more than one organ (for example the thyroid health profile); or
3. A particular situation involving several functions (for example menopause health screening).
Are Leeuwenhoek health screening packages for me?
Why is health screening useful?
Health screening allows you to be proactive and be more aware of your health. It helps to prevent or manage a disease, improve your health and reducing complications’ risks and costs. It‘s cheaper to early identify a disease or condition and prevent escalation by adopting a healthier lifestyle and/or taking medication, than to remain unaware and having to treat a chronic disease or condition further down the line.
The tests included in the packages give a comprehensive insight and a baseline of your health and wellness, as a result of which future tests can be performed. Once a baseline is established, it’s possible to monitor the effects of a change in diet, exercise, or lifestyle through regular health screening. Leeuwenhoek’s test report presents your results in a timeline allowing you to easily monitor and compare results with those from previous screenings with Leeuwenhoek.
I am feeling grand - why should I get screened?
Many diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular heart disease and kidney disease can exist without noticeable symptoms. Even if you are feeling well, when you have a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, or liver disease you should seriously consider health screening testing as you are at higher risk for those medical conditions.
Either way, prevention and early detection are your best defence. Health screening testing of your blood and urine can provide important information and give clues about your body. By knowing your levels, you proactively increase your chances of preventing and/or reversing potential problems.
Which lifestyle changes can reduce my risk of chronic diseases?
Is my health screening package covered by my insurance?
If you have private health insurance with other insurers, you may be covered for outpatient Leeuwenhoek professional service by your policy. The insurance company will pay or reimburse you for some healthcare professional services or a percentage of them. This will depend on your policy.
Can I claim a tax relief on my health screening package?
Is my health screening package covered by my Medical Card?
The short answer is no. The medical card covers tests to diagnose illness and not necessarily routine monitoring and screening. With a medical card you may be able to avail of some health screening tests through the public health service (HSE) free of charge. However bear in mind that:
– You would require a GP prescription. They may not prescribe certain tests or a vast range of tests if there is no direct and clear indication to do so besides you wanting to be pro-active and more aware of your health and wellness;
– You would still require phlebotomy (blood drawing) for which GP’s often charge you €15 to €20;
– Your samples will be tested through the HSE which may imply significantly longer waiting times due to their limited resources.
For these reasons we find that customers with medical cards do show interest in Leeuwenhoek’s services. Despite the extra costs they prefer the more accessible, convenient and customer-focussed service Leeuwenhoek provides.
Do I need to see my GP/ healthcare provider for a prescription before visiting Leeuwenhoek?
Do I need an appointment?
What is the testing procedure?
The entire screening procedure can be broken up in 6 steps:
- Choose – Choose the health screening package that you are interested in. Check if fasting or other preparation is needed before the test.
- Book – Book your screening. This can be done online or by telephone. Appointments are in the morning, but we’ll try to accommodate a time most convenient for you.
- Visit – The visit to Leeuwenhoek takes approximately 30 minutes. During this time you’ll complete a health screening requisition and consent form. After payment a qualified staff member will review the information you provide and will perform the phlebotomy (collect the blood samples).
- Test and Analysis – Our qualified and registered staff will test and analyse your samples. Leeuwenhoek is compliant with the professional and regulatory standards in laboratory testing to provide you with the best quality care and customer experience.
- Report – Results can be collected personally. Normally they will be available within 3 working days, but please confirm results are indeed ready before collecting. An electronic report will be sent to your e-mail only on your request (password protected). The results are and will remain confidential. If you have any questions concerning your test results we are happy to clarify them.
- Aftercare – Leeuwenhoek typically will advise you to contact your GP/ healthcare provider in relation to significant findings or any abnormal results. Your GP/ healthcare provider can evaluate these results in the context of your overall clinical picture taking into consideration factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, family history, signs, symptoms, and may require other tests or procedures (e.g. imaging tests) that can help to identify or rule out a health problem.
What is the procedure for the blood sample?
Taking a blood sample is also referred to as ‘phlebotomy’ and the actual puncture is referred to as a ‘venepuncture’ (puncture of a “vein” (blood vessel)). Previous to the venepuncture we will fully explain the procedure to you and obtain your informed consent (for minors, consent of a parent or legal guardian is needed).
For the adult’s health screening packages, a small amount of blood will be drawn from a vein by a qualified staff member from a vein in the arm using a needle. The procedure is quick and easy. Rarely, some people may faint or feel dizzy during the phlebotomy and they may need to lie down to help them feel better. The procedure may cause some minor discomfort and a small bruise may develop in the area where the needle was inserted. To reduce the likelihood of bruise formation we advise you to press over the site where the needle was inserted, keeping your arm straight. If in the area of venepuncture you develop redness or inflammation, seek your doctor for advice and please inform us.
A finger prick is used for the children and Youth Health Screening Tests. The procedure usually is quick and easy, although it may also cause some minor discomfort. This will go away shortly afterwards.
Do you include blood pressure, height, weight, body mass index (BMI)?
If you choose another package but wish to include these tests, let us know on the day of your visit and we will include them no problem.
Children and youth health screening packages include height, weight and body mass index calculation and evaluation.
Why do you not include an electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)?
The real indicators for cardiovascular disease risk include:
- Family history
- Blood pressure
- Exercise, physical activity
- Lipids (cholesterols) profile
How do I collect the urine sample?
To allow for the best analysis and diagnosis possible, it is very important that a urine sample is collected at the right time and moreover the right way.
Please follow the instructions giving in the “Urine Collection Instructions” leaflet (pdf). Here it’s explained how to collect your sample and thereby giving yourself the best chance of getting the most useful and meaningful results.
How long will my health assessment take?
Is Leeuwenhoek’s screening reliable and validated?
Leeuwenhoek has an effective and efficient quality management system in compliance with the ISO 15189 standard for Medical Laboratories and the National Compliance Monitoring Authority for Good Laboratory Practices.
This requires high competence of staff: Your samples are taken and processed by Irish registered healthcare professionals adequately trained and up-to-date with the latest findings. It also requires processes including screening tests to be validated.
Leeuwenhoek will seek accreditation to the ISO 15189 standard by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) at the earliest convenience. To do so, sufficient historical evidence of an adequate quality system is needed. Typically this is after a minimal of one year of service.
Do I require special preparations before the screening?
Do I need to fast before taking a blood test?
Will I be able to understand the results?
All test results are presented in an easy to understand format in one report (click here to see an example). For each result, a reference (normal) range is provided. These reference ranges may vary depending on your age and gender. Any abnormality (result outside normal range) is highlighted. For any such abnormality, a comment is included and recommended follow up. But do note that any comment is based on the test result alone and does not take in consideration your overall clinical picture. For this reason, the recommended follow-up typically is foremost to consult with your GP/ healthcare provider.
If you would like to learn more about how the results help your GP/ healthcare provider in understanding your health status, and in providing you with the right treatment; check http://labtestsonline.org.uk. Or visit http://patient.info for information about health conditions. Please note that this information should not substitute a consultation with your GP/ healthcare provider and that the information provided
Will my healthcare provider receive a copy of my results?
Can I take the results to my GP?
Can I receive my results by e-mail?
Yes, we offer the option to receive test results by e-mail. The results are combined in one report in pdf format (click here for an example). The report is password protected to ensure your results remain entirely confidential. If you choose to receive results by e-mail, you’ll receive the password through a text message sent to the phone number you provided.
When will my results be ready?
Do I have to give informed consent?
Are my results confidential?
What if I receive an abnormal result?
Our registered healthcare professional will advise and guide you on the follow-up action that may be required.
What if I receive a normal result?
How often should I get health screening?
I didn’t find an answer to my question, how can I get an answer?
If you have any questions that are not in this list, or if you would like to receive further information, please contact us through e-mail, phone, or walk-in during our opening times, preferably after 10 am.