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Courier Services

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.

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.

Supplies may be ordered using the Supply Order Form.

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

General Information

Winter Lockbox Tips!

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

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.

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

General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Supply Discontinuation: Sequenom Collection Kits

Effective August 1, 2018, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will no longer stock Sequenom Collection Kits. If a patient presents with a Sequenom Collection Kit, our outpatient phlebotomy staff will continue to aid the patient in collection.  If needed, please order Sequenom  Collection Kits from the manufacturer.

Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will still offer Panorama Collection Kits. For more information on Panorama testing please click here.

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Maintaining Specimen Integrity – Purple Priority Bags

purple priority bagSpectrum Health Regional Laboratory supplies purple priority bags for specimens that must be handled and processed immediately upon receipt in the laboratory. The purple color priority transport bag will be a visual cue to the receiving laboratory that the specimens inside the bag need to be handled or processed immediately at the time of arrival in the laboratory or the integrity of the specimen will be compromised.

Use these bags for transporting specimens to the laboratory when: Continue Reading

Education & Training, General Information

Summer Lockbox Preparation

Follow these steps for loading your outdoor lockbox during the summer months to prevent overheating of refrigerated and ambient specimens:lockbox summer

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.