Compliance: Laboratory Specimen Collection and Labeling

Course Request
patient safety

Learning Objectives

  • State the significance of laboratory accrediting agencies.

  • Explain proper patient identity protocols.

  • State the significance of collected volume.

  • Explain the effects of contaminated blood cultures.

  • Support proper specimen collection.

  • Identify properly labeled specimens.

Course Description

Seventy percent of patient diagnoses and treatments are based on laboratory results.  Yet, specimen collection errors are a significant source of medical errors that can jeopardize patient safety. Proper specimen labeling practices are critical components of effective and accurate patient identification. Strict lab specimen requirements are required by accrediting agencies for quality and patient safety. This course will orient you to proper specimen collection and labeling procedures.

Did you know…

  • Specimen labeling errors have long plagued the laboratory industry, putting patients at risk of transfusion-related death, medication errors, misdiagnosis, and patient mismanagement.
  • It has been estimated that >160000 adverse patient events occur each year in the US because of patient or specimen identification errors involving the laboratory.
  • Eleven percent of all transfusion deaths occur as a result of the phlebotomist not properly identifying the patient or mislabeling a tube of blood.
  • A 2009 Q-Probes study found the rate of tube mislabeling of blood bank samples to be 1.12%

Course at a Glance

Target Audience: Clinicians 

Time to Complete: 30 Minutes

Contributor: Texas Health, MedStar


Texas Health and MedStar

Author Information

Partners Healthcare is a not-for-proft health care system that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community locally and globally.
MedStar SiTEL combines the smartest ideas in education and technology to drive better performance in people and safer care for patients.