Specimen Labels: Laboratory Requirements for Specimen Testing

Specimen Labels: Laboratory Requirements for Specimen Testing
Specimen labels are precisely what they sound like: labels that are placed on specimens that will be forwarded to a laboratory for testing. When specimens are correctly labeled, laboratories accept them for testing without a problem. When specimens are incorrectly labeled, however, a laboratory may be unable to process them, and halt the test process until clarification is provided. Below are common examples of specimen labeling requirements laboratories use.

Provide at Least Two Patient Identifiers
One of the biggest concerns with preserving the integrity of laboratory specimens is ensuring that they are clearly labeled to prevent misidentification of the patients from whom they were taken. Consequently, many laboratories require healthcare providers to provide at least two forms of patient identification (e.g., date of birth and social security number) on specimen labels.

Write With Indelible Ink
Indelible ink is ink that is formulated not to fade, wash away, or otherwise be erased. Because the laboratory environment could contain an atypically high degree of moisture, it is best to use indelible ink when handwriting on samples, , especially if the specimen will be stored or processed over a long period of time.

Legibly Print Specimen Information
Patient identifiers mean nothing if they are printed too illegibly for the laboratory to read. This is why many laboratories recommend fully printing the information instead of abbreviating it or writing it in cursive. Some healthcare providers choose to go a step further, and print patient information on specimen labels using laser printers, thermal printers or inkjet printers.

Use Labels That are Made for Laboratory Conditions
Depending on the testing they perform, and how they perform it, it is not uncommon for laboratories to have unusual conditions in the general operating environment, such as a high moisture and airborne contaminants that are not completely removed by the air handling system. Custom labels that are designed to withstand adverse laboratory conditions can be created to ensure that labels stay in firmly place and remain clearly readable for a long period of time.

Need High-quality Specimen Labels?
If you are a decision maker for a laboratory or a hospital unit that needs high-quality specimen labels, be sure to check out our excellent selection of labeling products for test specimens. In addition to providing you with the ready-made products found on our website, we can also create custom labels that meet the requirements of the laboratory you use for testing. Examples of specimen labels that we have decades of experience in providing include:

●     Blank label stock, roll form, for thermal printers
●     Blank label stock, sheet form, for laser printers
●     Pre-printed specimen labels for handwritten notations
●     Information tape labels for pathology specimen collection
●     Information labels for specimen collection
●     Tamper evident seal labels for specimen containers
●     Glucose tolerance labels for timed specimen testing

For additional assistance with choosing specimen labels that comply with the laboratory requirements listed above and others, call us today at (800) 323-0249, or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to supplying you with high-quality labels that meet your specimen labeling needs and the need of the laboratory you use for specimen testing.

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