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Lab Testing

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Laboratory assistant working with the dispenser

DirectMD Virtual Primary Care provides virtual primary care for you and your family with easy access to an experienced doctor in the comfort of your own home. Still, there may be times when you need additional tests to diagnose an injury or condition fully. Not to worry! Instead of having two appointments and driving around the city, or having to pay emergency room fees for a non-emergency test, Dr. Hughes can order laboratory exams (“lab tests” or “labs”) from a nearby testing facility during your telehealth appointment.

What are lab tests?

Laboratory tests record different chemicals from a sample of your blood, urine, or body tissues. Once completed, a specialized technician will share the results with your doctor in order to analyze the results and compare them with the normal expected range. “Lab tests” is an umbrella term that is used to describe many different exams. Exam requirements vary from person to person depending on the condition or illness in question. Many factors can affect test results including age, diet, medications, and recreational drug or alcohol consumption. Be sure to follow the pre-test instructions given by the lab test technician or by Dr. Hughes in order to get the most accurate results. Lab tests are a routine part of regular wellness routines and can provide a quality record of your health over time.

How do lab tests work?

The type of laboratory test you may need will vary depending on what is being tested. The different tests will measure different chemicals and characteristics of your health. The following is a list of the most common lab test required.

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) – The most common blood test performed. It measures the types and numbers of cells in your blood including blood and white blood cells and platelets. This is used to evaluate nutrition, anemia, leukemia, malaria, and infection.
  • Prothrombin Time (Pro Time) – Measures how long it takes blood to clot. This test screens for bleeding abnormalities.
  • Basic Metabolic Panel – Measures glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, carbon dioxide, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine which can help determine blood sugar level, electrolyte, fluid balance, and kidney function.
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel – Combination of the Basic Metabolic Panel described above and other tests to evaluate metabolic functions.
  • Lipid Panel – Used to evaluate cardiac risk including cholesterol and triglyceride level measurements.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone – Screens and monitors thyroid function.
  • Hemoglobin A1C – Used to diagnose and monitor diabetes.
  • Urinalysis – A general screening test used to check for early signs of disease and monitor other conditions such as diabetes.
  • Cultures – Cultures are used to test for diagnosis and treatment of infections such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, strep throat, MRSA, and meningitis.

What happens after my lab tests?

Once your lab results are ready for review, Dr. Hughes will compare the results with the normal range and with any previous lab tests you have taken in the past. Studying these lab results will help Dr. Hughes confirm a diagnosis or monitor the progress of an illness that you have been treating. Tracking your progress may reveal that your current medication needs to be changed or that it is no longer needed. Many different companies offer these services including Quest and Labcorp. Many of these companies offer expedited appointments and even at-home exams.

How Much Does DirectMD Virtual Primary Care Cost?

Your Direct Care Membership grants you access to all of your primary care needs with Dr. Hughes. The membership monthly cost is a minimal $70 per month.

How Do I Get Started?

If you are interested in enjoying the benefits and convenience of DirectMD Virtual Primary Care telemedicine, you can sign up by clicking on the Subscribe Today button at the top of the page & completing the contact form. Or, if you have questions before you get started, feel free to contact us via phone at 682-540-4824 or email at

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