About NILA Laboratories

Clinical Laboratories

Clinical laboratories are facilities for examining substances (tissues, fluids, solids) derived from the human body for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of any disease or the impairment of, or the assessment of the health of, human beings.

NILA's clinical laboratory members perform testing on human specimens to assess, monitor and improve patient health.

A clinical laboratory is distinguished from a forensic laboratory by the way the laboratory tests are used, even though the tests may be similar. For example, the test results from a forensic laboratory are used in legal proceedings to help law enforcement solve a crime or to provide evidence that a crime has been committed.

An environmental laboratory examines human and non-human (e.g. air, water, solid, etc.) substances to determine whether toxic chemicals or disease causing microorganisms are present in the substances, the amounts present, and how they might have gotten there.

A research laboratory conducts experiments using a variety of materials to provide basic knowledge about the causes and cures for diseases and other human conditions.

Community/Regional Laboratories

A community/regional laboratory services the community or region in which the laboratory is located. The community/region can range from a single city or metropolitan area to several entire states.

NILA laboratories serve areas ranging from a single city to large, multi-state regions.

A community/regional laboratory is distinguished from a "national" laboratory, which services all states and regions. Community/regional laboratories create a robust network of support to the healthcare industry and provide flexible, local service to their communities.

What types of testing do NILA labs perform?

NILA laboratories perform a wide variety of tests, including:

  • Detecting the presence or absence of chemical substances or microorganisms
  • Identifying various microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and mycobacteria
  • Measuring the presence and amount of substances in a specimen (e.g. glucose in blood or crystals in urine)
  • Detecting the presence of cancer cells in bodily fluids and tissues
  • Identifying the type of cancerous cells in bodily fluids and tissues
  • Counting the number and type of blood cells in a given volume of blood or other bodily fluids
  • Determining the presence or absence of antibodies in an individual's bodily fluids/tissues to determine allergies or the level of immunity to a particular infection
  • Determining an individual's blood type
  • Crossmatching blood to determine its suitability for transfusion
  • Detecting the presence of mutations in an individual's genes
  • Detecting/determining genetic variations in individuals regarding the rate at which drugs are metabolized (broken down) or the effectiveness of a therapeutic drug or agents in treating the individual's disease or health condition (personalized medicine/precision medicine)