In-Common Laboratory
Our History: The “In-Common” Laboratory

In-Common Laboratories was established in 1967 by the Laboratory and Medical Directors at the Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Ottawa Civic Hospital with pilot project funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). The pilot budget was independent from any funding for hospital laboratories. It had the following objectives from inception:

  1. To strengthen laboratories operated by hospitals;
  2. To stretch the money hospitals spend on laboratory diagnostic work as far as possible;
  3. To make available to the entire health care community the professional expertise, technical and production capacity, and training and research resources of individual hospitals; and
  4. To develop a tool for examining laboratory information provided in support of community health care practice.

One of the foundational concepts of ICL was that hospital laboratories would work together or “in-common” and share resources, rather than each performing its own medical laboratory tests. From this idea was born the “in-common” laboratory, financially operated independent of any hospital.

Once established as an independent entity, the laboratory performed testing for a single test using an automated analyzer. In time, the test menu expanded along with the increased complexity of tests performed and more and more hospitals began referring specimens for testing to the in-common laboratory.

By 1974, the MOHLTC recognized that the operational concept of the pilot was a success. Subsequently, in June 1975, the organization was incorporated as Hospitals In-Common Laboratory Inc. (HICL), a not-for-profit Ontario corporation. The MOHLTC no longer provided any budgetary support, and so HICL began charging client hospitals for its testing services. These payments to HICL were made from the hospital global budgets allocated specifically for laboratory medicine.

Over the years HICL has operated three principal divisions, providing various laboratory medicine services: the Laboratory Division,performing laboratory tests, the Laboratory Referral Network (LRN) Division, coordinating a reference testing service, and the Community Services Division, offering collection and testing for non-hospital community physicians and their patients.

Today, the corporation retains its status as an independent, not-for-profit corporation governed by a skills-based Board of Directors. Our Board has transformed the company from Hospitals In-Common Laboratory Inc., an Ontario Corporation, to In-Common Laboratories, a Canadian, Not-For-Profit Corporation. ICL remains independent of any hospital or government agency and still adheres to the founding objectives—now our mission. The value to clients and reference laboratories rests in our ability to provide a “single-source for any laboratory test.”

We provide fully managed logistics services and connectivity solutions to enhance patient care while providing our clients access to the best clinical, scientific, and technical expertise through our laboratory referral network. We are proud holders of an Ontario Laboratory License and are accredited, in good standing, by Ontario Laboratory Accreditation (OLA). Also, ICL advocates and supports laboratory medicine decisions that add value to patients, physicians/caregivers, hospital laboratories, and taxpayers.




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