Rapid developments in diagnostic laboratory methods are taking place resulting in increasing demand for space and equipment.
To reduce potential health hazards due to the very nature of tasks performed in the laboratory and to obviate laboratory accidents, a hospital laboratory space needs to be provided on generous lines.
The laboratory is so located that it is easily accessible to all clinical departments. Laboratory service is extensively used by outpatients and therefore should also be easily accessible to the outpatients. Separate entrances for the outpatient and inpatient areas are desirable.
A hospital laboratory consists of clinical pathology microbiology, biochemistry, hematology and histopathology sections.
To serve these sections, associated service areas, rooms for media preparation, washing facilities, sterilisation and storage will be required.
For patients sent to the laboratory, provision for waiting rooms and toilet facilities has also to be catered for. Staff requirements such as common room, changing rooms, and toilet facilities will also be part of the laboratory.
Administrative areas will consist of specimen receiving counters separately for outpatients and inpatients, result distribution counters and office space for pathologist.
And lastly, accommodation for laboratory animals will be required in separate building adjoining the laboratory.
Although artificial lighting would still be required, the laboratory building can be oriented to natural light.
This is possible by providing adequate window space but taking care to minimise excessive solar glare.