SPECIMEN COLLECTION & HANDLING GUIDELINES
The following guidelines are offered with the goals of ensuring optimal patient/specimen identification and minimizing the risk of formaldehyde exposure to office staff, couriers, and laboratory personnel.
- Specimen containers should be labeled in the presence of the patient at the time of the biopsy or surgical procedure.
– Pre-labeling of containers should be avoided
– Patient information must exactly match the information on the requisition sheet.
- A formalin container most appropriately sized for the size of the specimen is recommended.
– The ratio of formalin volume to tissue volume should be at least 10/1 but should not exceed 20/1.
- After verification of the presence of tissue in the container, the lid should be firmly but not excessively tightened.
- The sealed and labeled container is placed into the sealable portion of the specimen transport bag, and then the bag is sealed (“zip lock” style).
- The requisition sheet is folded and placed into the open (non-sealable) “pocket” portion of the specimen transport bag.
– Do not place the paperwork in the sealed compartment with the specimen container.
- Completed specimens are stored in a proper place, such as a laboratory-provided cooler box, until courier pick up.
REQUISITION FORMS AND ACCEPTANCE/REJECTION OF SPECIMENS
Requisition forms are used to obtain pertinent patient information required to process specimens and to establish criteria for specimen acceptability.
- Specimens are accepted only if collected by appropriate means in Zinc Buffered Formalin or Michele’s Fixative and under the direction of a physician or his/her designee. No fresh specimens, body fluids, or blood samples will be accepted by this laboratory.
- Upon receipt, specimens are checked for proper labeling and accompanying paperwork.
- All surgical specimens MUST be accompanied by a legible requisition form. The following information is requested:
– Patient’s first and last name
– Date of Birth (DOB)
– Gender of patient
– Type of specimen (body site)
– Collection Date and Time
– Receipt day and time
– Physician Name
– Pre-Op Diagnosis (Required for medicaid and Medicare)
– Pertinent Clinical Information
– Office Medical Record or Chart Number (optional)
– The submitting surgical suite, physician office or clinic is called for information that is not written on the order form.
- Criteria for REJECTION of a specimen are:
– Specimen is not labeled and/or accompanied by a completed requisition.
– The name or other identifying information on the requisition does not match that provided on the specimen container.
– If name on surgical specimen does not match those on the requisition, attempts are made to verify correct name (i.e., maiden/married name). Verification is documented on the requisition form and included in gross dictation (correct information, person providing information, date information was received, and name of person accepting the information).
– Specimen container is empty or insufficient for processing.