Mandatory Labelling Criteria
All specimens and request forms must show three unique identifiers;
- First name
- Family name
- Date of birth
NB: We place a high priority on patient safety, therefore samples/requests where full names are substituted by initials will be treated as per the Sample Acceptance Policy and may lead to a delay in your results.
In addition, the following information may also be supplied;
- Date and time written on blood tube
- Hospital number
- NHS number
Request forms should give details of the requestor and the location;
- Internal request - location (ward code) and clinician details/code.
- External request - address label/surgeryand GP details.
Request forms should be dated and signed by those taking the specimen.
Some other useful tips to remember when ordering tests are;
- Be clear and legible and label specimens correctly e.g. John Smith NOT J Smith.
- Fill the blood specimen bottles to the mark. Short specimens cannot be handled automatically which causes delays.
- Avoid haemolysis. Green and blue needles are standard. Orange needles are available for patients where it may be difficult to obtain a specimen e.g. children. Please be aware that haemolysis is more likely to occur with orange needles.
- We appreciate there are times when you need to call us to add tests to a specimen we have already received. Please be aware that it takes time to add the tests, locate the specimen, run through the analyser again, etc. Not all specimens will be suitable for additional tests or retesting due to sample age or quality (certain tests are time critical) but please contact the individual laboratory for further information.
- Use urine monovette tubes with borate preservative for urine microbiology (but note these are unsuitable for chemistry tests and cytology urines. For chemistry and cytology they would need a separate specimen).