Specimen Guidelines for Medical Professionals/Caregivers

Please contact Client Services at 503-215-6555 if there are any questions about specimen requirements.

A complete requisition is required to accompany all specimens received in the laboratory and must contain:

  • Patient's first name/initial and last name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Tests ordered
  • Ordering provider's name
  • Clinic ID and Address
  • Date/Time of collection
  • Collector's identification such as initials or last name, first name

In order to match the requisition with a previous patient registration in the Providence electronic medical record system (Epic), a third ID must also be present on the requisition such as:

  • Medical Record Number (MRN)
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Social Security Number (last 4 digits is acceptable)
  • Insurance ID

To ensure patient safety and quality results, all specimens must be labeled with correct patient identification.  Always label specimens at the time of collection, in the presence of the patient.

To match the specimen with the requisition there must be a minimum of 2 identifiers including:

  • Patient's Last name, First name/initial
  • Second unique identifier
    • Medical Record Number (MRN)
    • Date of Birth
    • Clinic Chart ID
    • Social Security Number (last 4 digits is acceptable)
    • Requisition number

In addition to the patient information, the specimen must also be labeled with the collection date/time and the collector's initials or last name, first name.

Improper specimen collection or handling may result in the inability to perform testing.  As a result, specimen rejection and recollection may be required due to:

  • Wrong specimen type
  • Insufficient sample volume (QNS)
  • Missing or incomplete labeling
  • Specimen hemolysis
  • Specimen contamination
  • Improper specimen transport/storage

Testing may be delayed due incomplete or missing information such as:

  • Incomplete or discrepant patient information
  • Incomplete billing information
  • Missing or incomplete diagnosis code
  • Missing or incomplete information about specimen source
  • Unclear orders

In the event of improper collection/handling requirements or missing/incomplete information, an exception report and/or phone call detailing the issue will be sent to the ordering provider's office.

After specimens are collected, labeled and processed as indicated, they must be placed in a sealed plastic transport bag for delivery to the laboratory. Each bag has a zip-lock pouch for holding specimens and an external pouch for accompanying paperwork.  Do not place the paperwork inside the pouch containing the specimen.

Specimens must then be stored and transported at the appropriate temperature based on the testing guidelines outlined in the Providence Test Catalog.