Each Trust has its own local written procedures for making pathology requests on Cerner. Please refer to these documents to ensure requests are completed correctly.
Some tests may not appear on the order comms system. Please use a request form for these.
If the request is made correctly, all of the required information will be provided and the sample labels will contain sufficient information to:
Identify the patient fully – this will include:
- the patient’s NHS or Medical Record Number (MRN)
- the patient’s family and given names
- the patient’s family and given names.
List the requested tests.
List the type of container required.
Show where the patient is located.
A sample must be collected for every label that has been printed.
Once the sample has been collected, it should be labelled using the appropriate printed label.
More than one sample
If you are collecting more than one type of sample or blood tube, it is important to ensure the labels are attached to the correct container.
Check information is complete
It is the responsibility of the person making the request that the OCS label(s) are printed correctly and show ALL of the required information.
If the label is misaligned and any patient identification data is incomplete or missing, making it impossible to positively identify the patient from the information provided, the sample will not be accepted or analysed.
Add time and date
The only information which needs to be added by the person collecting the sample is the time collected and their initials.
Initial the specimen
Initialing the specimen identifies the person responsible for labelling them and must take place as soon as the specimen has been collected.
Record the time of collection
Recording the time of collection is very important as the order in which results are displayed in Powerchart is determined by the time of collection, particularly when several samples have been collected for the same investigation on the same day.
The label printers must be well maintained to ensure they print labels which are legible and correctly aligned. It is the responsibility of staff in each area to ensure the printers are working correctly.
Labelling paediatric blood tubes
Where the label is too large to be attached to the blood tube, the details of the patient can be written by hand on the tube and the label sent with the tube in the same plastic bag
Patients whose identity must remain highly confidential will be excluded from this way of requesting. Requests for these patients must be made using paper request forms.
On the rare occasions that OCS is not available, requests should be made using the paper request forms as supplied by SWLP.
For requests made as part of the Antenatal Screening Programme, if the individual’s NHS OR MRN number is not known their address must be used as the third identifier. In these cases, the first line of the address must also appear on the specimen container.