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Making pathology requests

Pathology requests can be made in one of several ways.

Most requests for pathology investigations are received electronically, using an order communications system (OCS), however this is determined by the Trust and the dept to which investigations are being sent.

Some depts/clinical areas may require a request form, even though the request may have been made using OCS.

When the OCS system is not available, request forms (Downtime forms) must be used. It is advisable for clinical areas to have a stock of these forms already printed, as often in situations when the OCS is not available, the Trust network is also not available either and therefore it will not be possible to print any forms.

Using multi-layered request forms

If multi-layered request forms are received and are to be shared across pathology departments, please ensure all patient details are visible on each layer of the multiform.

If this information is not clear, it may be necessary to photocopy the original form before separating the multi-layered form sections and enclosing the photocopied request rather than the carbon copy with the specimen.

Blood Transfusion requests

The Blood Transfusion department has its own specific procedure for making requests and labelling samples.

Requesting tests and taking samples

Requestors

All requests will be made by either a clinician or suitably trained practitioner and it is their responsibility to ensure all requests:

  • Are made on the correct patient and selecting the correct encounter for that patient
  • Include whatever information is required by the laboratory to perform the test and interpret the result
  • Which analytical tests are required and the clinical need for those tests.

Where an electronic order using an Order Communications System has been used to make the request and print the labels, ensure ALL of the information printed on the label is legible.

It is the responsibility of the clinical area to ensure the label printers are working correctly and producing legible labels.

Phlebotomist/person collecting the specimen

Must ensure the sample(s) are collected from the correct patient, into the appropriate sample collection container, at the correct time and that the samples are labelled fully with the correct patient’s details.

Latest news

January 15, 2021

New research shows that previous Covid-19 infection offers up to 94% protection from reinfection

A study carried out by Microbiologists at St George’s Hospital, using test data from South West London Pathology (SWLP) laboratories, shows that patients with laboratory evidence of Covid-19 in the first wave of the pandemic were 94% protected against reinfection in the second wave.

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December 1, 2020

South West London Pathology launches new website

The new website offers a clear and simple navigation, a detailed test database with an easy-to-use search function and a consumables section which is linked to the test database, making it easy for users to find the type of container (test tubes, urine pots etc) that they need for specific tests.

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November 13, 2020

Pathology service update: processing of allergy samples

Due to staffing pressures at the Immunology laboratory at St George’s Hospital, it is anticipated that allergy blood tests will be processed with an extended turnaround time of up to three weeks. This is expected to last through November and December.

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November 12, 2020

SWLP to introduce Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF™) Test

At the beginning of 2021, South West London Pathology (SWLP) will be introducing the Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF™) Test from Siemens to our repertoire. The test can initially be requested by GPs in the borough of Wandsworth.

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