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Education & Training

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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Education & Training

Webinar: ACOG & ISPD Recommendations on NIPT for Twins

On Wednesday, December 9th, Natera is offering a webinar on the advantages of SNP-based method in prenatal screening for twins.

Join the 25 minute webinar to learn:

  • What do the ACOG and ISPD recommendations say about using NIPT for twins?
  • What unique capabilities of Panorama in twin pregnancies are highlighted in these recommendations?
  • How can Panorama’s capabilities help you better manage twin pregnancies?
  • How accurate is Panorama in detecting aneuploidy and other features important to twins?

For more information: Webinar Details and Registration

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.

Education & Training, General Information, Test Utilization

Appropriate Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody Ordering

The most conclusive evidence for using thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO) is predictive in nature when evaluating possible subclinical hypothyroidism. If this test is positive, hypothyroidism occurs at a rate of 4.3% per year versus 2.6% per year when the antibody is negative. While this scenario does not cover all clinical indications for ordering TPO, there is no definitive evidence that repeat TPO testing provides additional information.1

Based on this information the ordering of TPO within Spectrum Health is being modified. If the test is ordered more than once on a patient, a screen will appear in EPIC indicating the following: “This test should typically only be resulted once per lifetime. The duplicate checking indicates that this patient has already had this testing performed. Please see chart review for results.” This is not a “hard stop” but providers will need to click “Continue” to proceed with the order. Continue Reading

Chemistry, Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Preservative For 24 Hour Urine Collections

In both the inpatient and outpatient settings, the laboratory has supplied 24 hour urine containers with preservative such as acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, and boric acid.  Upon review of specimen stability requirements, it has been determined that a preservative is not needed prior to collection of most 24 hour urine tests as long as the 24 hour container is kept refrigerated or on ice during the collection period. Continue Reading