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Compliance & Safety

Compliance & Safety, General Information

Inform: Interoperability and Information Blocking

The 21st Century Cures Act and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Final Rule states that Spectrum Health cannot engage in practices that interfere with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI), otherwise known as Information Blocking, unless a specific Information Blocking exception applies.

Effective April 5, 2021, patients can request a specific subset of their health information (known as the USCDI data set) which can include progress notes, lab results, and discharge summary notes in near real-time.

• MyChart: Health information will be pushed faster to patients via MyChart.  Patients may be able to see results in MyChart prior to the provider seeing the results.

• Majority of resulted tests will be released to MyChart twice a day without regard to holidays and weekends.  A small number of results will be blocked or held over the weekend including all of radiology and some pathology, genetics, and cardiovascular results.

• Third-Party Applications: Provided a third-party application is configured correctly for Spectrum Health’s application programming interface (API) feed, patients will be able to request that their health information be shared directly with the third-party application of their choosing.

This change will promote interoperability and allow data to flow freely and securely between providers, payers, and patients.

If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to Information Governance on Spectrum Health’s InSite or by emailing informationgovernance@spectrumhealth.org.

 

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Appropriate Specimen Labeling

Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is committed to the safety of our patients, and the accuracy and quality of the testing we provide.  In order to do that, we need your help to ensure that patient specimens adhere to our internal policies and quality checks.

THE DETAILS

To that end, we are asking for your help in the process of labeling specimens before they are sent to our laboratory.  It is our policy at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory that the routine labeling of laboratory specimens MUST INCLUDE FULL LEGAL NAME and DATE OF BIRTH, and if possible, additional identifiers such as medical record number, specimen number, etc. If this information is missing, incomplete or incorrect, the specimen is considered a mislabeled specimen, and will be canceled upon receipt.  (The only exception to this is “precious specimens,” ex. cerebrospinal fluid or surgical specimens, which can sometimes be given an opportunity for relabeling after correct identification).

If a patient specimen is labeled with a NICKNAME instead of the FULL LEGAL NAME, this specimen would be considered a mislabeled specimen and have to follow the above process, which will delay patient care and/or employee eligibility to work.

EXAMPLES

“Alli” Smith Unacceptable  Allison Lynn Smith Acceptable
“Johnny” D Parker Unacceptable John David Parker Acceptable
“Dan” Stevens Unacceptable Daniel Stevens III Acceptable

WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO

Please review this notice with your collecting/labeling staff as soon as possible to ensure proper labeling practices.  Though not new, this policy has been reviewed by our team members in central specimen processing, and will be strictly adhered to going forward.  Please feel free to forward this notice to anyone involved in the collecting or labeling of laboratory specimens that are sent to Spectrum Health.

Thank you for continuing to trust Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory for your testing needs, and thank you for partnership in attention and commitment to quality and safety!

For questions or concerns regarding this policy, please use the “Contact Us” link above.

RESOURCES

Spectrum Health Labeling Guide

The Joint Commission 2021 Patient Safety Goals

Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute

Spectrum Health Laboratory Policy #9955

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Self-Swab for STI Testing

Self-collected vaginal swabs may be used for STI testing as opposed to provider-collected swabs. Self-collected swabs are supported by current clinical guidelines as recent studies have shown their equivalence, if not superiority, in quality and their association with increased patient satisfaction.

NOTE: Self-collection must still take place in a healthcare setting and is not approved for at-home collection.

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Compliance & Safety, General Information

Reminder: Winter Lock Box

march-winter-lockboxTo maintain optimal specimen integrity, Spectrum Health Laboratory requests that you load your outdoor lock box properly for winter weather temperatures. Please follow the diagram on the right to prevent freezing of specimens.

Frozen specimen should never be left in the lock box for after-hours pickup. These tests may be better preserved in the office freezer until the next day’s courier pickup.

Request for specimen pickup should be made to the Laboratory Call Center at 616.774.7721.

Compliance & Safety, General Information, Immunochemistry, Main lab

Serum Kappa/Lambda Free Light Chain Assay Update

Effective September 28th, 2020, a new generation of the serum kappa/lambda free light chain assay has been implemented.

With the implementation of the new generation of the assay there is an approximately 20% negative bias for kappa free light chains in serum containing >20 mg/dL kappa free light chain.  This may affect the trending for patient who are serially monitored by this assay. Continue Reading

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Leaky Specimen Containers

Leaky specimen containers may cause compromised test results and it is also a hazard to lab couriers and registration personnel. Leaky specimen containers are not acceptable and may be rejected.

In order to prevent leaky containers, please be sure to:

  • Pay close attention to the lid, making sure the screw-cap lids are fastened evenly and securely, with the threads aligned. If a patient has challenges with tightening the lid, please have them notify lab staff when they return to drop off their container.
  • Containers should be upright at all times, with lid on the top during transport. If container is placed in a biohazard bag, please maintain in the upright position by gripping the cup or the handle and not by the top of the bag.

The Laboratory provides a brochure “Laboratory Specimen Home Collection” for patient collection instructions. Internal offices (i.e. SHMG) may order these from Document Services using the order number X17776 (X19611 for the Spanish version). External offices may order these from Laboratory Courier Services using the Supply Order Form.