LTO-UKs aim, and that of our collaborating partners, is to create a comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date web site to inform the public about clinical laboratory testing. The content on this site is developed and updated in accordance with established editorial policies.
1. Science-based Content
Content development is based on current scientific literature and the expertise and practical experience of an Editorial Review Board (ERB) comprised of laboratory and medical professionals.
We aim to provide information that is understandable to the general public. We also strive for a balanced approach; where there are differing views and little or no consensus about testing, we present each side of the discussion so that Lab Tests Online users can be better informed when making decisions about their care.
The information provided on LTO-UK is aimed at improving patient outcomes. Improving health outcomes through laboratory medicine is achieved with the appropriate use of testing. Our content aims to arm people with the information they need to be active participants in their care and to engage their healthcare providers in informed discussions that will result in positive health outcomes.
All new and modified content must be reviewed and approved by members of the ERB. This applies to news items, test and condition articles, feature and screening articles, and Glossary terms. The ERB may refer some content for review by non-ERB laboratorians or medical professionals who have a particular expertise, but the ERB has final approval of the content.
5. Limited Brand References
We avoid the use of company or brand names in written content, except in rare instances where reference to a particular kind of test is so closely associated with a brand that use of the brand name is unavoidable.
6. Content Review Cycle
We strive to review all core content on the site (test, condition, and screening articles) at least once every three years to ensure that it is current with the latest research, technology, policies and practice. From time to time, developments in the science or policy and practice related to a specific topic may require the updating of an article in advance of its three-year review date (e.g., changes in screening guidelines). Each article displays a date that the article was last reviewed; a date that the page or article was last modified is also indicated. A modification may be a minor or editorial change that is implemented ad hoc whereas a review means that the complete article was reviewed and updated as needed.
Because laboratory science continues to evolve, in some cases quite rapidly, we require that the most current sources possible are used when preparing new articles or updating existing articles. Experts on specific topics may be consulted when the current literature is inconclusive. We strive to use peer-reviewed sources and non-commercial resources, including but not limited to journal articles, medical texts, and online health information sites, and these are documented.
7. News Story Policies
Topics for news stories are evaluated based on specific criteria that include whether the topic is relevant to laboratory testing and the related subjects covered on the LTO-UK site, whether there is a public health aspect to the story, and whether the topic is receiving coverage in the popular media. Other criteria that might be considered, particularly when the story relates to a new test or advance in technology, is how soon the new test or advance will affect – or how far away it is from affecting –patient care. Like other content on LTO-UK, news stories strive to be non-commercial and to present a balanced coverage of the issues. News items and links to them from pages on the site are available for three years from the posting date. After that time, they are removed.
8. Links to External Sites
All links listed in LTO-UK articles to sites "Elsewhere on the Web" are included because the pages to which they link are contextually-relevant and considered to be from well-regarded resources. Links are periodically checked to determine if they still function and go to the relevant content.
Under no circumstances will LTO-UK place a link to a web site in exchange for a link from that web site to LTO-UK. Anyone may suggest a link to us, but it will only be added to the site if it is determined to be relevant to LTO-UK users in the context of a given topic and considered to be a credible source.
9. User Feedback
We take user feedback seriously. If you tell us that some part of the information on LTO-UK is wrong or if something is not sufficiently clear, we will review the section of content in question and take steps to modify it if the ERB agrees that the information was incorrect or unclear. Likewise, if you alert us that a link is not working, we will promptly fix it – and we appreciate you letting us know.