The NHLS has a branch situated on the hospital premises, enabling the Institute to render an invaluable service to both the hospital and the Soweto Community Health Centres.
A comprehensive range of investigations is offered in all disciplines, including chemical pathology, haematology, microbiology, serology, histopatholgy and cytopathology. Molecular diagnostic techniques (eg polymerase chain reaction - PCR) have been incorporated into the service aiding diagnosis of haematological lymphoproliferative disorders and infectious disease such as tuberculosis and HIV infection.
Close clinical liaison is maintained in all disciplines, this being an important facet of the laboratory's function. A number of staff also serve on various hospital committees, involved with the provision of patient care in the hospital.
Collection of specimens is facilitated by the provision of a phlebotomy service, covering wards and out-patient departments, accompanied by a comprehensive messenger service. A collection and delivery service also operates between the laboratory and surrounding clinics.
The laboratory is fully computerised and provides a network of computer terminals in the wards and surrounding clinics to facilitate the retrieval of results. The laboratory forms part of the School of Pathology of the University of the Witwatersrand. It is committed to joint academic pursuits with hospital staff in addition to undergraduate and postgraduate training in the pathology disciplines.
The laboratory also provides facilities for the training of pupil medical technologists and medical scientists.