Specimen Collection

Proper sample collection and handling is an integral part of obtaining a valid and timely laboratory test result. Specimens must be obtained using proper phlebotomy techniques, collected in the proper container, correctly labeled (in the presence of the patient) and promptly transported to the laboratory. It is the policy of the laboratory to reject samples when there is failure to follow these guidelines.


Standard Precautions!
All specimens should be regarded as potentially hazardous or infectious. Universal Blood and Body Fluid precautions should be observed.


Patient Preparation
Prior to each collection, review the appropriate test description, including the specimen type to be collected, the minimum volume required, the procedure, the collection materials, and the storage, handling, and transport instructions.


Minimum Volume Requirements
Laboratory Services will reject (not test) samples not meeting the minimum volume requirements specified in the Laboratory Test Directory for each test. This necessity is to comply with manufacturer's instructions for each test and federal CLIA regulations for Sample submission, handling, and referral.


Specimens for Referral Testing
Referral Testing is processed and sent out Monday – Friday 8am-1pm. Specimens received after 1 PM will be shipped the following business day (if Friday, then following Monday). As a general rule, time sensitive specimens should not be collected on a Friday or the eve of a Holiday. STAT or Time Sensitive specimens (to be picked up Saturday, Sunday, or Holiday eve), you MUST notify a Specimen Management staff member.


Operation of Pneumatic Tube System
(Galveston Hospital and UHC locations only)

Please follow precautions outlined in this policy when sending patient specimens to the Laboratory via the Pneumatic Tube System. PTS Policy