When testing for Clostridium difficile Toxin (“C-diff”), only liquid (i.e. watery) stools should be sent for testing. Any formed or soft stools will be immediately rejected and testing will be canceled.
Education & Training
All specimens submitted to Spectrum Health Laboratory for testing must be appropriately labeled to assure positive identification and optimum integrity of specimens. In accordance with standards issued by The Joint Commission, at least 2 patient identifiers should be used when providing care or treatment of services (National Patient Safety Goal, NSPG.01.01.01). If 2 patient identifiers are not used on the specimen, the specimen will be rejected, the order will be cancelled and a request for recollection will be made. This includes Gyn Cytology (i.e. Pap) specimens.
What are acceptable Patient Identifiers?
- Patient Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Spectrum Health Medical Record Number (MRN)
Follow these steps for loading your outdoor lockbox during the summer months to prevent overheating of refrigerated and ambient specimens:
1. Place a frozen cool pack in the bottom of the lockbox.
2. Layer 3 – 4 paper towels over the cool pack for insulation.
3. Place refrigerated temperature specimens on top of the paper towels.
4. Layer 3 – 4 paper towels over the refrigerated specimens for insulation.
5. Place ambient temperature specimens on top of the paper towels.
Frozen specimen should not be left in the lockbox for after-hours pickup. These tests may be better preserved in the office freezer until the next day’s courier pickup.
Spectrum Health Laboratory is committed to specimen integrity. The specimen transport integrity guide is available in the online test catalog. If you have further questions please contact Laboratory Services at 616.774.5116.
Non-fasting results on intended fasting laboratory tests will alter their interpretation and diminish their utility. Please help remind patients to arrive fasting if fasting tests are required. Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory recommends no caloric or caffeine intake for at least 8 hours. The patient is not to drink (other than water), eat, smoke, chew gum, candy, cough drops, etc. for at least 8 hours prior to their blood tests. Please check the Laboratory Catalog prior to sending your patient or patient’s specimens to the laboratory.