A medical laboratory or clinical laboratory is a laboratory where clinical pathology tests are carried out on clinical specimens to obtain information about the health of a patient to aid in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.Clinical laboratories are an example of applied science, as opposed to research laboratories that focus on basic science, such as found in some academic institutions.
Clinical laboratory tests are the scientific basis for the diagnosis and management of patients. In addition to the traditional areas of laboratory testing, including clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, and transfusion medicine, genetic testing is also broadening its role in the clinical laboratory field. While many new research procedures and analytical methods are becoming available, they all should be strictly validated before being adopted in the clinical laboratory medicine as routine diagnostic assays. Clinical laboratories have an important role to play in this translational process from bench to bedside.