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Electronic ordering

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.

Patient details

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.

Labels

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.

Label printers

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

Exceptions

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.

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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