This policy defines the requirements for specimen labeling and laboratory acceptability. The policy also defines the process used when a specimen submitted to the laboratory does not meet the established requirements.
All specimens must be labeled with the patient's first and last name - no nicknames - and a unique numeric identifier. For inpatients, the numeric identifier is the University of Mississippi Medical Center medical record number (MRN) that is assigned to a patient at first visit to the Medical Center. For outpatients, the numeric identifier is the UMMC medical record number or the date of birth. For emergency admission, a special number is given which is then replaced with the permanent MRN. Testing will not be performed on specimens that are not labeled as described. The specimen will be rejected by the laboratory and the test request will be credited.
However, the individual relabeling the specimen will take full responsibility for confirming the identification of the patient and will be responsible for signing the Specimen Exception Form. No exception will be accepted for labeling without this form.
Individuals employed and deemed competent to draw or collect, submit or receive test specimens must follow this procedure.
If the test is ordered in the Epic System, a bar-coded Epic label will be printed at the time the specimen is accessioned. If an Epic label is unavailable, then the EpiCare admission label may be used. The label contains the following information:
The laboratory staff will not accept syringes with needles attached, or remove a needle from any specimen. In these situations, the laboratory staff will contact staff in the area that collected the specimen and request that they come to the laboratory to remove the needle.
Specimens that are leaking from their containers will not be accepted. These specimens will be discarded. In these instances, laboratory staff will credit the test and document the reason for discard in the laboratory system.
At the time of specimen arrival in the laboratory, the laboratory staff will compare the identification on the specimen to the identification on the requisition - whether a hand-written procedure or electronic procedure from the LIS.