Specimen Collection

Proper specimen collection and handling are vital for assuring accurate results. Improper technique in obtaining and preserving specimens may yield false or invalid values. PathLabs will reject specimens received for testing if the integrity of the specimen is compromised. Specific specimen requirements are provided in the following sections of this site and include: specimen type, minimum volume, storage temperature, and routine or special preparation instructions. Note: All specimens must be transported in a sealed Zip-Lock© style biohazard bag. For test results to truly reflect the patient's condition, the specified requirements must be followed closely. If you need further clarification for any procedure, please call our Client Service Department.

Specimen Collection procedures
For your convenience you will find instructions for patients, in Adobe PDF format, on specimen collection for a number of tests on the Publications page.

Unacceptable Specimens
Pathology Laboratories strives to meet the highest possible standards of quality to assure confidence in all test results reported. If the integrity of a specimen is compromised, our Client Service Department will request a new sample to assure results are of clinical value.

 

Test Requisitions

Test Requisitions are supplied by Pathology Laboratories to referring clients. A separate completed Test Requisition must accompany each patient's specimen(s). On each Requisition, please legibly provide all of the following information:

  • Date and Time of Collection
  • Patient's First and Last Names
  • Patient Social Security Number
  • Patient Sex
  • Patient Date of Birth
  • Patient Address
  • Patient Phone Number
  • Test(s) Requested
  • ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code For Each Test
  • Medicare, Medicaid, other Insurance Information
  • Physician Name (if not pre-printed)
  • Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage - Must be explained to and signed by Medicare patients when their physician orders routine screening tests, tests ordered at an unusual frequency, certain tests ordered without a specific diagnosis or non-covered tests.


Frequently ordered procedures may be preprinted by PathLabs on requisitions to meet your specific clinical needs. Please contact our Client Service Department for further information. Blank space is also provided on the Test Requisition for other tests. Special instructions should also be noted on the Requisition.

 

Test Additions

If you would like to add tests to a specimen that is in the laboratory, please contact our Client Service Department. A representative will verify that the specimen is available and adequate for testing. You will then be instructed to fax a new order to our Client Service Department for the tests you are adding. Written verification for add-on test requests is required by our accrediting agency, the College of American Pathologists. When testing is completed, we will call and/or fax results if requested.

 

Test Cancellations

Pathology Laboratories will honor test cancellation requests submitted prior to test completion. If the cancellation request is received after the specimen has been analyzed, the request cannot be honored and the usual test charge will be assessed.

 

Reference Ranges

Due to continuing changes in test methodologies and expanding knowledge in clinical interpretation, reference ranges are subject to change at any time. Each laboratory report, however, incorporates current reference ranges or an interpretation of results for each test.

 

Repeat Determinations

Any test value that, in the physician's opinion, does not correlate with the clinical situation will be repeated at no charge. When requesting a repeat determination, please explain the situation on the request form accompanying the new specimen, or call our Client Service Department if you wish the repeat determination to be performed on the original specimen.