The completion of the laboratory analysis on a sample or specimen may require methods and procedures that the laboratory does not have. Also, standards of medical practice or legal requirements may dictate the completion of testing by another laboratory. In these cases, the first laboratory may send the specimen, some part of the specimen, or something derived from the initial examination of the specimen to another laboratory that can complete the examination. In these instances, the sending of the material to be analyzed is considered a referral, and the second laboratory is the "reference laboratory." In general, this term is applied to any laboratory that does additional analysis or testing on a sample or specimen sent from another laboratory.
Eric C. Blank
(see also: Assurance of Laboratory Testing Quality; Laboratory Services; Laboratory Technician; Practice Standards )