Laboratory Collection

Proper Specimen Labeling

All specimens collected from hospital inpatients, outpatients, and physician office patients submitted for medical testing must be properly labeled so that there is no ambiguity as to the patient’s identity.

Properly labeled specimens must include:

  • Patient’s full first and last name.
  • Second identifier such as identification number or date of birth. A room or bed number is unacceptable.
  • Collection date.
  • In order to comply with NYSDOH regulations, a mechanism must exist to identify the individual who collected the specimen. Thus, identification of the person collecting the specimen must be recorded on the specimen label or the test requisition.

The source of the specimen must be noted either on the specimen label or the test requisition when the specimen is tissue, a culture, or a body fluid other than blood.

NOTE → Per Part 58-2.7 (a) of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations for Clinical Laboratories:

Labeling of specimens intended for pre-transfusion testing shall include:

  • Patient’s full first and last name.
  • Second identifier such as identification number or date of birth. A room or bed number is unacceptable.
  • Collection date.
  • Collection time.
  • Identification of the person collecting the specimen.

Computer-generated labels with the barcode will sometimes have the first name truncated because of space limitations. Specimens with truncated names will not be accepted by the Transfusion Services department.

One-Of-A-Kind Specimens

A one-of-a-kind specimen is any specimen not easily obtained (or re-obtained). This list includes, but is not limited to, bone marrow aspirate, bronchial lavage, cerebrospinal fluid and other body fluids, and surgical specimens.

If an improperly labeled one-of-a-kind specimen is received in the laboratory, the attending physician or his/her designee will be notified immediately. The specimen must be properly labeled by the attending physician or his/her designee prior to the laboratory taking any additional steps to process the specimen.

Specimens Received with Needles Attached

Hospital-Collected Specimens:

If a specimen is received in the laboratory with a needle attached, the patient’s nursing unit will be notified to recollect the specimen. If the specimen is a one-of-a-kind specimen, the nursing unit will be required to send someone to the laboratory to remove the needle. A hospital quality assurance tracking form will be submitted documenting the event.

Worst Dressed Tubes:

Test Tube Labelling

No Appointment Necessary
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