Accurate laboratory results begin with proper preparation on the part of
the patient and continues with proper specimen collection, processing
and handling by you, the healthcare professional. This site is updated
regularly to provide the most current information available.
Main Line Hospitals Laboratory Services provides its clients with
supplies necessary for the collection, processing and referral of
specimens to our laboratory. You may obtain supplies by contacting the
Client Service Center at 484.580.4200.
Accurate labeling of patient specimens is critical to ensuring the
accurate reporting of patient results. Main Line Hospitals Laboratory
Services in compliance with the Joint Commission (JCAHO) standards,
requires that each specimen be labeled with at least two identifiers:
Patient’s full name
A second identifier, such as the patient’s date
of birth or Medical Record number
Surgical pathology and Cytology specimens (tissue biopsies, Fine Needle
Aspirates, brushings, pap smears) and blood bank specimens require
The specimen site is required for tissue
biopsies for pathology, Fine Needle Aspirates, and brushing
samples for cytology. If you have any questions, please contact
Mary Cahalan, Cytology Supervisor, at 484.476.8418.
Blood bank specimens (pink top tubes for blood
type, Coombs tests, etc.) require the date of collection and the
collector’s initials. If you have any questions, please contact
Liz Klinger, Blood Bank Supervisor, at 484.476.8409.
Specimens may be labeled by either writing on the blood collection tube
label or by affixing a label. Patient identification information must
match the accompanying laboratory requisition form.
Health and Safety Precautions
Main Line Hospitals Laboratory Services strongly recommends that its
clients observe universal precautions when collecting specimens. Please
follow proper blood collection techniques to minimize the risk of
transmitting infectious diseases to clinical staff, and wear gloves when
NCCLS document M29-A, "Protection of Laboratory Workers from Infectious
Disease Transmitted by Blood, Body Fluids, and Tissue, Approved
Guideline," provides specific recommendations. A copy can be obtained
from: NCCLS, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, PA 19087.
Information about lab tests requiring special
preparation on the part of the patient, such as fasting, dietary
restrictions and special scheduling requirements.
Specimen Collection Procedures
Follow the links below for standard collection procedures:
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.