Critical values procedures

The medical technologist is responsible for alerting the physician/practitioner of any critical value immediately after performing the analysis.

View the critical values chart


We will call the physician or nurse in charge of the patient and identify results as critical values. If the physician or nurse is unavailable, results may be given to responsible person delegated by nursing floor.

Test results that continue in the critical range will not be phoned unless a significant change occurs.


We will call results in to the physician/practitioner/location. If the outpatient is from a Salem Health outpatient service, such as wound care, we will page the registered nurse on call.

All calls will be followed up with a fax report to the outpatient service office, with comment already appended.

Skilled nursing facilities and other outreach locations

Results will be called in directly to the facility. If the facility has multiple patient units, the call will be made directly to the designated patient unit.

Phone calls will be followed up with immediate fax report with appended comment.

The nursing staff at the facility is responsible for calling the physician. If the order was from an outreach hospital, results will be called into their lab.


In every case, we will append a comment to the critical result, including the name of the person to whom the result was phoned, his/her location (if called to someone other than the physician) and the time of the call.

The technologist may delegate responsibility for phoning the report; however, it is still the technologist's responsibility to append the comment.

Contact us

Salem Health Laboratories can be reached at 503-814-5227 (LABS).

Client Services

503-814-5227 (LABS)