The Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (ACB) is the host organisation for Lab Tests Online-UK and its Editorial Board makes every effort to present web content such that it meets best practice for a health information resource on the Internet. The ACB Lab Tests Online-UK Board respects the privacy of its users and this is reflected in our Code of Conduct, Terms of Use, and Privacy policies. Links to pages on this website must meet the requirements described on our Linking and Licensing policy. Should you have any questions about these policies, please Contact Us.

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More Policies
  • Code of Conduct

    We have designed Lab Tests Online-UK to comply with the eight principles of the Health On the Net (HON) Code of Conduct for medical and health web sites. We are currently undergoing initial review in our application.

    The HON Code of Conduct lists the following principles:

    1. Authority: Any medical or health advice provided and hosted on this site will only be given by medically trained and qualified professionals unless a clear statement is made that a piece of advice offered is from a non-medically qualified individual or organisation.

    Lab Tests Online-UK (LTO-UK): All medically-related information on the site has been obtained from qualified resources.

    2. Complementarity: The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing healthcare professional.

    LTO-UK: Our primary objective is to help public understanding about lab testing in order to help improved doctor-patient communication. We encourage patients and carers to learn as much as they want about their health care so that they can become active partners with their doctors in looking after their own health.

    3. Privacy: Confidentiality of data relating to individual patients and visitors to a medical/health Web site, including their identity, is respected by this Web site. The Web site owners undertake to honour or exceed the legal requirements of medical/health information privacy that apply in the country and state where the Web site and mirror sites are located.

    LTO-UK: We fully respect the confidentiality of our visitors. Please see our privacy policy for more detail.

    4. Attribution: Where appropriate, information contained on this site will be supported by clear references to source data and, where possible, have specific HTML links to that data. The date when a clinical page was last modified will be clearly displayed (e.g., at the bottom of the page).

    LTO-UK: Because this site is designed for patients and carers, we have not included references to source data for the sake of readability. If there is a question regarding a source for a specific piece of information, please send an email from the Contact Us page with your query.

    At the bottom of every page containing substantive content, we include the date that the page or article was last reviewed and the date it was last modified.

    5. Justifiability: Any claims relating to the benefits/performance of a specific treatment, commercial product or service will be supported by appropriate, balanced evidence in the manner outlined above in Principle 4.

    LTO-UK: Not applicable to our site as we do not discuss or advocate specific treatments or promote commercial products or services.

    6. Transparency: The designers of this Web site will seek to provide information in the clearest possible manner and provide contact addresses for visitors that seek further information or support. The Webmaster will display his/her E-mail address clearly throughout the Web site.

    LTO-UK: For our feature articles, we do note the author and sources for the information. Our editorial board has been responsible for reviewing all test, condition/diseases, and screening pages; we also note on this page the contributions of individuals who have reviewed or written material. We have not provided e-mail addresses for specific individuals on this site out of respect for their privacy. However, questions to the Webmaster can be submitted from the Contact Us page.

    7. Financial disclosure: Support for this Web site will be clearly identified, including the identities of commercial and non-commercial organisations that have contributed funding, services or material for the site.

    LTO-UK: These organisations are clearly identified on our home page, and again on our Partners and page which include brief descriptions of each organisation and a link to its web site.

    8. Advertising policy: If advertising is a source of funding it will be clearly stated. A brief description of the advertising policy adopted by the Web site owners will be displayed on the site. Advertising and other promotional material will be presented to viewers in a manner and context that facilitates differentiation between it and the original material created by the institution operating the site.

    LTO-UK: There is no advertising on the site. Sponsors of the US Lab Tests Online site, who provide funding for that site, provided advice and assistance in promoting Lab Tests Online. They were not involved in the editorial development of the site.

  • Linking & Licensing

    Content Licensing

    Lab Tests Online is copyright protected and owned by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). Any use of materials on this Lab Tests Online-UK website, including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication, without the prior written consent of both the AACC and the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (ACB), is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding the use of content on this website can be submitted from the Contact Us page.

    Linking Guidelines

    1. AACC encourages other web sites to link to the Lab Tests Online home page and, if contextually appropriate, to pages deeper within the site. We do not charge a fee or ask for anything in return.

    2. We do not, however, permit viewing of Lab Tests Online-UK pages within a separately branded environment.

    3. All links to Lab Tests Online-UK should either open a new blank window or first clear all contents of the current window before displaying the Lab Tests Online page. The Lab Tests Online-UK URL should appear in the address bar.

    We ask that you send us your web site's URL for our records, noting where you have linked to Lab Tests Online-UK. If AACC finds that linking guidelines are not being followed, you will be notified and required to comply.

  • Privacy

    The Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (ACB) and its collaborating partners are committed to honouring the privacy of our visitors. We have designed the site to minimize the gathering of personal data; we will not do so without first alerting you to the fact.

    We do collect non-personal data to help us understand how the site is being used and how we can improve it. We also collect the information you submit on forms found on our site. This information is invaluable and helps us provide a better service. Our web-server log collects non-personal information such as the web domain you have used when visiting the site and the page from which you linked to our site, if indeed you followed a link from elsewhere on the web.

    If you give it to us, we may sometimes use your email address to contact you with questions about your comments.

    We will not send you unsolicited information, commercial offers, and advertisements.

    This site contains links to other sites. The ACB and our collaborating partners are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such Web sites.

    You may use the Contact Us page to send us any questions you may have about our privacy policy. It will be helpful if you would include "privacy" as your subject.

    Information Collected
    The information we collect generally includes: (1) Personal information you supply and (2) Tracking information collected as you navigate through the Website.

    Currently we are using Google Analytics to analyse the audience of the website and improve our content. No personal information is collected from Google Analytics. For further information on the privacy policy concerning Google Analytics, please go here.

    Personally Identifiable Information
    We may collect and store personally identifiable information whenever you contact us with a question or comment.

    Aggregate Information
    LTO-UK does collect non-personal data to help us understand how the Website is being used – and how we can improve it. Our web server log also collects certain non-personal information such as the domain you are using to surf the web (e.g., users of your ISP will show up as "ISPname.com") and the page from which you linked to our site, if indeed you followed a link from elsewhere on the web.

    When we collect this information, we endeavor to make any personally identifiable information non-personally identifiable by combining it with information about other individuals or by removing characteristics that make the information personally identifiable to you. LTO-UK reserves the right to share with third parties aggregated information about you and other visitors to our Website.

    Storing and Using Information
    We do not undertake to maintain any information about you for a duration greater than necessary to provide services to you or as provided by law, rule or regulation. The LTO-UK website invites users to submit personally-identifiable data, such as your name and email address, along with questions or comments about the site, or about your experiences in the healthcare system. We collect this data only so that we may contact you with a response to your questions or comments, or to follow up with questions of our own. If you have indicated that you are interested in receiving updates about the site, we will use your email address to send you an email noting such updates. The Website is not governed by HIPAA or any other patient privacy statute.

  • Editorial Policies

    LTO-UK's 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.

    2. Patient-Centred
    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.

    3. Outcomes-Driven
    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.

    4. Peer-Reviewed
    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.