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General Information

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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General Information, Hemostasis/Coagulation

Update: Platelet Aggregation Studies

The Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory Coagulation Department will be going live with the Helena AggRam analyzer on February 3, 2021.  This analyzer uses platelet rich plasma to analyze human platelet aggregation which is measured by absorbance.  The following aggregating agents are used in these studies: Arachidonic Acid, ADP, Collagen, Epinephrine, and Ristocetin.

Patients for platelet aggregation studies should be resting, fasting, and non-smoking. Patients should avoid taking any prescription or over the counter medications known to affect platelet function for ten (10) days to two (2) weeks prior to the studies. For a list of medications known to have anti-platelet effects, click here. Continue Reading

General Information, Immunochemistry, Test Spotlight

New Insect Allergen Component Testing

Effective December 9, 2020, the following insect allergen components will be available:

Allergen Honey Bee Component Panel – EPIC #LAB1230747, Interface #1230747, CPT 86008

Allergen Common Wasp (Yellow Jacket) Component Panel – EPIC #LAB1230752, Interface #1230752, CPT 86008

Allergen Paper Wasp Component rPol d 5 – EPIC #LAB1230754, Interface #1230754, CPT 86008

Cross-reactive Carbohydrate Determinant (CCD) – EPIC #LAB1230755, Interface #1230755, CPT 86008 Continue Reading

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.

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