Precise labeling of specimens is required by law. The policy for labeling specimens requires it to be carried out at the bedside, immediately upon collection of the specimens from the patient. The practice of pre-labeling specimens prior to collection carries clinical risk. This includes pre-printing batches of patient labels. Pathology reserves the right to reject inadequately labeled specimens.
Specimen containers should be labeled as follows:
All specimens should be treated as potentially infectious. However it is advantageous if patient specimens and request forms from known or suspected cases of significant or highly infectious conditions, be clearly indicated as such, for example Hepatitis, HIV, Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, SARS. Plastic specimen bags are available for the transport of all specimens to the laboratory.
Completing all fields of a request form is important in ensuring tests are processed and results interpreted appropriately and results are delivered to the correct clinician/computer system.
The following information should be completed on the Request Form, particularly a paper request:
We seek collaboration to start new diagnostic facilities in areas of Pathology, microbiology, Molecular Diagnostics and transfusion medicine. We also seek scientific collaboration in research, clinical trials and training.
All specimens should be delivered to the laboratory as soon as possible after collection, to minimalize artifactual changes in the specimen which may invalidate results.