Laboratory Services

HealthLink Laboratory provides comprehensive laboratory and pathology services to patients at Northeast Georgia Medical Center as well as over 200 locations in the region. This laboratory serves physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and public health clinics.

HealthLink Lab is certified by the College of American Pathologists, accredited by CAP (College of American Patholgists), the AABB (Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies), and licensed by CLIA. A dedicated customer service staff is available to meet with managed care customers to set up services that meet each company’s unique needs. HealthLink offers daily pick up in outlying areas and twice daily pick up in Gainesville. In addition, HealthLink provides supplies for collection and flexible report options to assist managed care companies with record-keeping.

To learn more about HealthLink’s Laboratory Services, call 770-219-STAT (7828) or 1-800-334-8897.


We currently have labs at each of our hospital locations, as well as 3 off-site locations located in Braselton, Buford and Dawsonville.

Our main outpatient lab is located at Northeast Georgia Medical Center for specialized testing, routine collection, lab work and pre-surgical testing.

For weekends and after hours, patients can check in through the emergency department and will be guided to the appropriate testing location.

Our Team


Our pathologists are medical doctors with specialized training to study medical conditions using human tissue, blood, urine and other body fluids. They provide information to help diagnose and treat, monitor and give a prognosis of a patient’s. Each laboratory is under the guidance and direction of a pathologist that is responsible for the testing and proficiency of that laboratory.

Medical Laboratory Technicians & Scientists

Our laboratory team includes laboratory technicians certified as medical laboratory technicians (MLT) and medical laboratory scientists (MLS). They are certified by the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) and AMT (American Medical Technologists). Our MLTs perform many of the routine testing and day to day operations of the lab including running quality control, laboratory documentation, and resulting to healthcare providers. MLSs are further trained to supervise, train, and lead a specific department within the laboratory and troubleshoot and provide further testing on patient samples.


Our histotechs and cytotechs are laboratory professionals responsible for turning freshly collected tissue and blood samples into microscope slides suitable for viewing by pathologists. They will then screen large numbers of samples and forward those samples that need to be further reviewed to the pathologist. By limiting the number of samples a pathologist needs to view, cytotechnologists make the pathology lab more productive and efficient.


Our phlebotomy department is the face of our labs and the forefront of our collection process in our medical centers. They are the lab’s direct link to the patient in the hospital setting and one of the first people a patient may see. They are trained in collecting routine blood samples, urine and other body fluid collection techniques, and blood cultures. They transport specimens to the lab to be processed so that the laboratory technicians are able to get results to the nurses and providers.

Specimen Processing

HealthLink Laboratories at our medical centers have a dedicated team of technicians who process specimens so that they are received properly, correctly labeled, and routed to the correct department. This saves time and ensures quick turnaround testing for results. They also prepare and send out specimens that require special testing to be sent to a specialized laboratory. They handle almost every specimen that enters our lab.

Interested in joining our team? Visit to learn more.

Forms & Helpful Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What items do I need to take with me to the lab?

When visiting a laboratory, you should bring the following information with your:

  • The test request form, unless your health care provider has entered your orders into the lab computer system.
  • A current insurance card
  • A photo ID
Are there special requirements for collecting specimens from minors?

Minors must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. The lab is required to obtain authorization for the collection procedure and the billing of tests ordered by a physician.

How is a blood sample collected?

Typically, a blood sample is taken by inserting a needle into a vein, usually in your arm. Before your blood is drawn, an elastic band is tied around your upper arm to increase blood in the veins, and the puncture location is wiped clean with an antiseptic. A blood draw using a needle may cause a temporary sting. The blood draw normally lasts for less than a minute. Sometimes a blood sample is collected by puncturing the tip of a finger and drops of blood are collected onto a test pad, filter paper, or into a small tube.

Why would I be asked to fast before a blood test?

When a physician is reviewing your laboratory results, they need to know if you have had any food prior to the collection of your sample. Consuming food prior to a blood draw can affect results of some tests. When we ask you this question, we place this information on the report that is sent to your physician.

How long must I fast in order to have blood work done?

At least 8-12 hours. Stop eating after your evening meal.

May I drink before having blood work?

You should NOT drink any soft drinks, juice, milk or alcohol 8-12 hours prior to a blood collection. You may drink as much water as you would like. The more water you drink, the more hydrated you are and this helps in the collection of blood or urine samples.

May I drink coffee or tea before having blood work?

You may have black coffee or tea ONLY. No cream or sugar.

How is a urine sample collected?

Most urine samples are collected by urinating into a clean container provided by the lab. One to two ounces of urine is typically needed for testing, and a sufficient sample is required for accurate results. Urine samples usually can be collected at any time, but a first morning sample may be requested because it is more concentrated and more likely to detect abnormalities. For tests requiring a 24-hour urine sample, all urine produced for 24 hours is collected at home and put into a large container that must be refrigerated during the collection process.

To collect urine for a urinalysis, you may be asked to collect a “clean-catch” urine sample. To keep the sample from becoming contaminated by bacteria, cells, or fluids from outside the urinary tract, it is important to clean the genital area before collecting the urine. You will be given instructions on how to clean the genital area and void a bit of urine first before collecting the sample into the container.

A urine sample will only be useful for a urinalysis if taken to the health care provider’s office or laboratory for processing within a short period of time. If it will be longer than an hour between collection and transport time, then the urine should be refrigerated or a preservative may be added.

I am being told that my lab test is time sensitive, what does this mean?

“Time Sensitive” refers to specimens that must be received in the laboratory within a specified amount of time from collection.

How do I access my lab test results?

Lab Results are sent to the physician who ordered the lab tests and to MyChart. Call 770-219-1963 or visit if you have any questions related to MyChart.