Information for patients arriving for laboratory and medical imaging examinations
You must always have a referral from a physician for laboratory and imaging examinations. It is your physician’s decision whether to send you to be examined. Your physician will either create the referral electronically or give it to you on paper.
In a referral for laboratory examinations, the physician will determine which tests will be taken.
In a referral for imaging examinations, the physician will describe your principal symptoms, findings, and examinations already performed.
You may also come to our laboratories on referral from a private physician, but only at certain service locations.
We charge a fee for sampling and examinations. These examinations are not eligible for Kela compensation. Bring your referral with you when you come to the laboratory. The results of your laboratory tests will be sent by mail to you, to your physician, or to both of you. The results can also be delivered through the OmaPosti service of Posti, which is faster than a letter. These results are not transferred to Omakanta.
We do not perform imaging examinations on referral from private physicians. For imaging, you must have a referral from public health care (a health center, an occupational health care service, or a hospital).
There are many factors that affect examination results. Avoid smoking, alcohol and severe physical exertion in the 24 hours before sampling.
Immediately before sampling, we recommend that you sit for 15 minutes doing nothing in order to stabilize your circulation.
You may have a light meal and take your medication before sampling, unless otherwise agreed with your attending physician.
Most laboratory tests do not require fasting, but some require that you refrain from eating and drinking for a period before the test, or that the test be taken at a specific time of day. See below for further instructions.
Some tests require fasting.
Examination manual: Examinations that require fasting (PDF, in Finnish)
You must refrain from eating and drinking for a period of at least 10 hours (or as instructed) before sampling. You may drink one glass of water during this time.
Specific time of day
Some tests must be done at a specific time of day. They may also require fasting. A list of examinations and instructions regarding them is available here:
Do you have any questions? You can call our customer service at 09 4718 6800 (Mon–Fri 07:30 to 15:30). You can also contact us via the chat.
In most cases, you can take a urine sample at home and bring it to the laboratory for examination. You can collect the sampling kit at the laboratory without having to book an appointment. At some laboratories, supplies can be collected at a self-service point. You will be given sampling instructions.
It is important to follow instructions when taking a urine sample. Read the patient instructions to see how to prepare for the examination and what information the laboratory needs to have about the sample.
If you have received the sampling kit and instructions from the laboratory for sampling at home, prepare to inform the laboratory of the time when you took the sample and the ‘bladder time’, i.e. how long it was since the previous time you urinated. These details need to be entered on the form given to you with the sampling kit in addition to your personal details.
For some examinations, you need to collect urine over a given period of time. You will always be given separate instructions for such examinations.
Many examinations are performed at our laboratory and imaging services, some of them very different from one another. Some examinations require no preparation, while others require very specific and detailed preparation. Because of this, there are separate instructions for each type of examination.
You may be given one or more instruction leaflets when you are about to come in for examinations. You should read them well in advance, because they contain a lot of important information.
For some examinations, you will receive an appointment confirmation stating the time and place. The patient instructions describe details of the examination: how you should prepare, what will happen, what you should do afterwards, and how you will receive the results.
You can book an appointment for our laboratories online or through our customer service. If you book an appointment, you will be admitted promptly and at a time of your choosing. You will be called by name for sampling.
For most examinations, you can also just walk in. If you do not have an appointment, take a number from the queue system machine in the waiting room.
You must always book an appointment for a glucose tolerance test, a spirometric examination, or a cervical cancer screening.
Urgent samples can always be taken without an appointment. Also, sample containers can be collected and returned with a waiting number.
The following common X-ray examinations are conducted on a walk-in basis:
- bone and lung imaging
- dental imaging (in the Meilahti Hospital X-ray unit and Park Hospital X-ray unit only by appointment)
For these examinations, you are free to choose the unit where you go for your examinations. Find the most suitable X-ray unit in our location search.
You must book an appointment for any other examination than basic X-rays. Depending on the examination, you may either book the appointment yourself or it will be booked for you. In the latter case, you will be informed of the appointment by letter.
For ultrasound examinations and examinations of the ocular fundus by the Helsinki University Hospital Department of Eye Diseases, you can book an appointment yourself by phone. For more information, see our booking page.
The following are some of the examinations for which an appointment will be booked for you and you will be informed by letter:
- magnetic imaging
- computer tomography
- sleep studies
Barrier-free access to our service locations varies, so please check the details before coming in for examinations. We have compiled information on barrier-free access on the Service Map. The details for each service location contain information on barrier-free access. This information is available in Finnish, Swedish, and English.
You may search by specific barrier-free access criteria, such as accessibility by wheelchair, or if you have a vision or hearing impairment. This will highlight if there are any accessibility issues for you to particular service locations.
You may select the route to your chosen service location on the Service Map based on the mode of transport you will be using. If you set barrier-free access criteria in the map service, you will be shown if there are any accessibility issues along the route you have selected.
The Examinations Hub (Tutkimukseen tulijan talo) provides up-to-date information on laboratory and medical imaging examinations. This includes general information on various examinations, instructions on how to prepare, and links to patient instructions issued by the various hospital districts. There are also instructions on what to do after the examinations.
Laboratories perform examinations such as blood group and antibody screenings during pregnancy, and glucose tolerance tests. Most laboratory examinations can be performed without restrictions during pregnancy.
If you know or suspect that you are pregnant and you receive a referral for a medical imaging examination, let your attending physician know or, at the latest, inform the imaging unit staff when you come in for your examination. We can then select the imaging method best suited for your condition.
When you bring a child in for laboratory or medical imaging examinations, you should discuss this with the child in advance and explain what is going to happen.
You can bring your child to any of our laboratories.
In medical imaging, basically the same imaging methods can be used for children as for adults, but they will be performed in a child-friendly way.
A physician or nurse will agree with you how your examination results will be delivered to you: at an appointment, by letter, by phone, or online in Omakanta.
Most laboratory examination results will be delivered to your attending physician, with no separate statements appended. In laboratory examinations, the results are often evaluated in comparison to reference ranges (‘normal values’). However, there are cases where interpretation may be more complicated and an evaluation by the physician ordering the examination is required.
In the case of X-rays and other medical imaging examinations, a statement is written up and delivered to your attending physician.
In My Kanta and the patient portal Maisa, test results are generally displayed immediately once the results are ready, with the following exceptions:
- There is a two-week delay for radiology reports and laboratory tests for which a written opinion is given.
- For clinical genetics, the delay in test results is 30 days.
- For some specialized tests the delay may be even longer as the analysis may contain several stages and takes a long time.
- The doctor responsible for the patient's care has set a time when the results will be displayed that differs from the default.
If you have visited a laboratory on referral from a private physician, the examination results will be delivered by mail to you, to your physician, or to both. These results are not transferred to Omakanta.
You can order a copy of the images taken in a medical imaging examination on DVD or on a memory stick if you are going to have further treatment elsewhere.
You can place an order by visiting any HUS Imaging X-ray unit or by sending the image copy order form to any of the service locations listed below. If copies of your examination images are ordered by someone else than you yourself, you must provide a freeform power of attorney signed by you, authorizing the person in question to place the order.
Hyvinkää Hospital X-ray unit
Jorvi Hospital X-ray unit
PO Box 800
New Children's Hospital X-ray unit
PO Box 347
Lohja Hospital X-ray unit
Meilahti Hospital X-ray unit
PO Box 340
Peijas Hospital X-ray unit
PO Box 900
Porvoo Hospital X-ray unit
Department of Oncology X-ray unit
PO Box 180
Raseborg Hospital X-ray unit
PO Box 1020
Töölö Hospital X-ray unit
PO Box 266