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Identification, collection, and transport of specimens

Last modified by  ivette_marrero  on  April 30, 2012 12:31 PM


UNC Hospitals
McLendon Clinical Laboratories
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

McLendon Clinical Laboratories

 

IDENTIFICATION, COLLECTION AND TRANSPORT OF SPECIMENS

(See individual tests for specific requirements)

To maintain and facilitate patient care as well as to fulfill safety and legal requirements of appropriate accrediting agencies, it is the policy of the University of North Carolina Hospitals to require complete labeling of patient specimens and requisitions. This procedure is consistent with JCAHO, CAP, AABB and FDA regulations and with Universal ("Standard") Blood and Body Fluid Precautions.

  • Every specimen container label MUST include:
    • Patient's first and last name
    • Patient's Medical Record number, including check digit
    • Date and time of collection
    • Initials of collector
    Do NOT label lid

  • Every specimen slide for Cytopathology MUST be labeled on the frosted end with a lead pencil and include:
    • Patient's first and last name
    • Patient's Medical Record number, including check digit
    • Source of specimen
    • Do NOT label slide folder
    • Every ThinPrep vial submitted to Cytopathology for gyn testing (Pap smear) must be labeled with patient's first and last name and patient's medical record number.  It should be accompanied by a requisition with the matching patient identifiers.  Unlabeled ThinPrep specimens will be rejected and a new specimen collection required. Mismatched requisitions and specimen containers will also be rejected and a new specimen collection required.

  • Every requisition MUST include:
    • Patient's first and last name
    • Patient's Medical Record number, including check digit
    • Patient's date of birth
    • Patient's location
    • Date and time of collection
    • Initials of collector
    • Requesting physician and UNC Hospitals physician code number
    • Tests ordered, on the appropriate requisition
    • Anatomic location of specimen site, where required
    • All relevant patient clinical data for Anatomic Pathology and Cytopathology specimens (NOTE: menstrual history is of paramount importance on Gynecological Cytopathology specimens)

  • Priority requests:
    • STATS: Emergency procedures should be indicated by attaching a completed red STAT slip to the regular requisition, or by inputting the order in SMS with a STAT priority.
    • Expedites: For use with OUTPATIENT laboratory requests only when a physician needs a rapid turnaround of laboratory results for management of therapy or for decisions about disposition. Attach a completed yellow Expedite slip to the regular requisition.

  • Inpatient specimen labeling:
    • All specimens (except slides) must be labeled with a barcode ID label.
    • All specimens must be labeled at bedside immediately upon collection and before leaving the patient's room.
    • If a label is completed by hand at the patient's bedside (e.g., filling in unreadable or missing letters or numbers), the specimen is acceptable as long as the information is correct and consistent with the requisition.

  • Outpatient specimen labeling:
    • All specimens must be labeled with a barcode ID label or with a computer-generated Lab Information System label, EXCEPT for Admissions, whose specimens must be labeled with an Identi-print label generated from the patient's armband.
    • All specimens must be labeled immediately upon collection.

  • Specimen acceptance:
    • Under universal sample precautions, only specimens collected in appropriate containers (e.g., screw top tubes for CSF) will be accepted. Needle-capped syringes will not be accepted, except for Cytopathology aspirates.
    • Contaminated specimen containers and/or requisitions are not acceptable and will not be processed by the laboratories.
    • Unlabeled, illegible or improperly labeled specimens and/or requisitions will not be processed.
    • Specimen and/or requisition rejections will be handled according to a uniform acceptance procedure within the Department of Hospital Laboratories. Written notification/documentation of the rejection will be included in the patient's permanent chart.
    • Questions regarding specific specimens should be directed to the individual laboratory supervisor.

  • Specimen Transportation: 
    • Specimens of blood or other potentially infectious materials shall be placed in a well constructed container with a secure lid (e.g., Vacutainer blood collection tube) which prevents leakage during collection, handling, processing, storage, transport, or shipping. If outside contamination of the primary container occurs, then a second leak proof container shall be placed over the outside of the first and closed to prevent leakage during handling, storage, or transport. Specimens which leave the hospital must be labeled with a BIOHAZARD label.
    • When transporting multiple specimens of blood or other potentially infectious materials within the facility, a BIOHAZARD labeled transport container (i.e., BIOHAZARD labeled pail or cooler) shall be used.
    • For further information on transportation on Infectious Substances or Diagnostic Specimens, see the McLendon Clinical Laboratories Safety Manual, Chapter V.B., Shipment of Biological Specimens. and UNC Hospitals Infection Control Manual, Exposure Control Plan for Bloodborne Pathogens.
    • For transport of specimens via the Computerized Tube System (CTS) see the CTS Policy.
     

 

 

 

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