Blood Sample – Collection Labeling & Documentation – Express Clinics
- Express1 Clinics1
- October 1, 2019
Blood Sample – Collection Labeling & Documentation
When you have a blood sample taken, it’s usually done in your doctor’s rooms, at a pathology collection center, clinic or hospital. Depending on where it takes place the person taking the sample will be a doctor, nurse, or trained phlebotomist – often known as a pathology collector.
Blood samples are most commonly taken from the inside of the elbow where the veins are usually closer to the surface.
A tight band or tourniquet will be wrapped around your upper arm to slow the flow of blood.
Before the needle is inserted, the area will be cleaned with an antiseptic cloth. The blood sample is transferred into tubes containing the correct preservatives. A small dressing will be placed on the spot where the needle has been to keep it clean and prevent infection.
Blood Sample Labeling
Labeling the tube with your name, a personal ID number and the date and time of collection is of the utmost importance. Before the blood sample is taken the person collecting it will ask you to state and/or spell your full names and date of birth. This is to confirm that you are the right person. They may ask you to repeat it after the sample has been taken.
Information Required for Specimen & Requisition Identification
Minimum Specimen Identifiers
Specimens and requisitions sent to the lab must have a minimum of TWO major patient identifiers on each specimen container and requisition:
- Full patient name: full first and last names.
- Unique patient ID number: either the RHRN number or the PHN.
Labeling Blood Tubes
Specimens should be labeled so that the patient’s name is next to the lid and so that the blood is still visible in the tube.
Lab personnel needs to be able to see the volume and condition of the specimen without peeling back labels.
- Do not apply the label over the lid.
- Do not wrap the label around the tube like a flag.
- Do not apply the label with the tube lid on the right side.
The 3″ Clinibase/SCM labels that were created to be placed on patient charts are too long for CLS specimen tubes. The longer labels have a negative impact on processing by:
- Blocking viewing of the tube contents
- Jamming the analyzers
- Sticking on the gloves of lab personnel
Breaking specimens resulting in contamination/recollects
Improperly Labelled or Unlabelled Samples
Any specimen not having the minimum labeling requirements will be rejected by the laboratory and will have to be recollected.
Specimen & Requisition Mismatch
Specimens labeled with one patient name, and sent with requisitions for another patient will be classified as mislabelled and will need to be recollected; the specimen label and requisition full name and unique identifier must match exactly.
For all exceptions to specimen rejection, a Laboratory Sample/Test Request Deficiency Resolution (DR) Form must be completed and signed by the person assuming responsibility for the identification of the specimen.
A DR Form may be filled out and signed, and the specimen labeled or relabelled, only if:
- the specimen cannot be recollected due to the specimen type (e.g. CSF, tissue, cytopathology specimens) or due to timing of the collection, recollection would cause undue hardship to the patient.
The date and time of collection, along with the name of the individual that collected the specimens, must appear on the requisition and specimen sent to the laboratory.
Use the 24-hour naming convention, and ensure there is no confusion as to the date and/or month of the collection.
Blood Sample Documentation
After the sample has been collected and labeled, it is transported to the laboratory. Once the specimen arrives in the laboratory it is booked into the laboratory’s computer system. The tube label contains all the information necessary to ensure that the sample is analyzed for all the tests requested by your doctor and that the results are matched to your name.
In many blood tests, an automated instrument analyses the sample. In this picture, the tube of blood is being placed directly into the machine. This particular state-of-the-art analyzer is capable of running batches of samples – up to 120 samples per hour.
With the latest technology in analyzers comes the ability to generate the results electronically and graphically. The results are checked for quality and accuracy, approved by the laboratory staff and then sent to the doctor (either printed or by electronic download). If the results indicate the patient may be very ill, the laboratory may call the doctor with the results.
The length of time between taking the blood sample and when the doctor gets the results can vary greatly, from as little as an hour to as much as several weeks. Urgent tests are performed immediately. The non-urgent test may be performed the next day or on the next run of that particular test.
Specialized tests may need to be sent away to a reference laboratory and results may not be available for some time.
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