Specimen Collection, Preparation and Handling Procedures
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
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
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
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
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. more
Specimen Collection Procedures
Follow the links below for standard collection procedures:
Recommended methods for processing patient specimens to ensure the
most accurate laboratory results. more
For More Information
For assistance with specimen requirements, please call Client
Services at 484-580-4200.
For a printed copy of Main Line Hospitals – Laboratory Services
Directory of Services, please contact: Jack Galamb, Main Line
Hospitals – Laboratory Services Outreach Marketing Director, at
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