Reminders and tips for accessing lab service in Calgary

November 22, 2021

CALGARY – With the return of cold weather, Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) encourages residents in the Calgary area to plan ahead and book appointments for lab work whenever possible in order to reduce delays and make visits to the lab more convenient for everyone.

Extra safety precautions, combined with challenges maintaining appropriate staffing levels during COVID-19, have resulted in longer than normal wait times for lab service in many communities. APL has introduced a number of changes and new tools to improve access and reduce line-ups at its Calgary-area patient service centres.

Book an appointment whenever possible

Pre-booking an appointment is the preferred way to access lab service, as appointments provide faster, more convenient service for patients. Appointments are available at all Calgary patient service centres except the Riverbend location and can be booked online at or by calling 403-770-5136.

Patients should consult their physicians if lab tests are required before appointments are available. A new online booking tool allows physicians to book time-sensitive appointments on behalf of their patients at select patient service centres in Calgary, Airdrie and Cochrane. Time-sensitive appointments are those required within seven to 21 days to facilitate treatment, diagnosis or ongoing monitoring of medications.

Calgary’s hospital labs are available by physician or clinic referral only, and are reserved for hospital clinic patients, as well as those who are immunocompromised or require specialized testing. APL’s Sunridge and Glenbrook patient service centres also have dedicated appointments available for immunocompromised patients on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

All patients are reminded to cancel their appointments if they are unable to attend them for any reason, so they will be available for others.

Walk-in service available at select locations only

Walk-in service has been limited to certain patient service centre locations in the Calgary area throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Details about locations and hours of walk-in service are available on the APL website.

Due to physical distancing requirements, walk-in patients may not be able to be immediately accommodated indoors. Walk-in patients who are required to wait outside can choose to be notified by cellphone or by using restaurant-style paging devices when it is their turn to enter the
lab. This allows them to wait in their vehicles or in nearby indoor locations where they can sit down and stay warm.

Wait times for walk-in service are typically shortest between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Please be patient and respect healthcare staff

APL appreciates the community’s understanding and support as we continue to make adjustments in order to comply with public health guidelines while providing lab service for all Albertans.

For more information about the COVID-19 safety procedures in place at APL patient service centres and what to expect when you next visit the lab, visit the APL website.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

Alberta Precision Laboratories is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alberta Health Services, delivering high-quality, responsive diagnostic lab services to Albertans, across our healthcare system.