Re: delivery of specimens

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I forgot to send my reply to all.
---------------------- Forwarded by Rande Kline/EMI/Merck on 12/04/98 03:09
PM ---------------------------

Rande Kline
12/03/98 04:05 PM

To:   Cel Rutledge <>
Subject:  Re: delivery of specimens  (Document link not converted)


You have a problem.   It's control time.  I remember this part all too

This is what I instituted when I was a supervisor and had similar problems.
I hope this will give you some ideas.

A log book was kept in the receiving area, which was pathology.  When a
specimen was sent it had to be logged in and signed by the person
delivering it .  Pathology signed that is was recieved.  that it was
received.  It was signed received only if it was recieved properly. The
clinical sites also had their own log for which the dept signed upon
receipt.   A log book was carried by the messenger service but filled out
by clinical sites ( each site had their own logs ) or wherever they were
picked up from. This was also a good way to eliminate the problem of
clinical sites claiming they delivered something and they didn't and also
kept track of what time a specimen was received ( we had a time stamp for
the requisitons) There was also a log book wherever the pathology
department made the pick-ups.  The point is specimens were always signed
for and there was on-going documentation of receipt and time of receipt (
outside of the information system ).  It was a good way to nip problems in
the bud.

I don't remember exactly everything in the log book, but for sure it had
date, patient name, Dr. ,  delivered by, rec'd by, and type of specmen.

Also,  if a specimen was improperly bought into the lab, the clinical site
was called (not the messenger service ) and they had to correct the
problem.  The specimens which came down from the OR sometimes had to go
back up. I even had the guts to call the doctors and tell them that their
work would not be processed unless the lab slips were completed. There were
times when there were alot of corrections to make which included many, many
lab slips to rewrite, bags to change (especially, if there was blood on the
outside or formalin spillage), and filling containers with formalin.  This
was no pathology's responsibility.  Pathology's responsiblity was to make
sure the clinical sites/OR had the materials they needed to submit the
specimens and of course educate the proud recepients. Secretaries do not
need to handle lab requests that have stuff on them when they are doing
reports.  Nor do dirty lab slips need to be handled by anyone. The point
did get through to all.  I had support from the pathologists which really
helped.  Weekends would still be a problem at times.  But we all still
plugged at it.

I think I became a monster.  Hope this helps.  Anytime you want to talk,
call me.

Rande Kline HT (ASCP)
Technical Services
EM Science
800-222-0342 x443

Cel Rutledge <> on 12/03/98 01:49:50 PM

To:   Histonet <>
Subject:  delivery of specimens

We have been having a problem with the condition of surgical specimens
that are delvered to pathology.  We have a central messenger center that
collects specimens from the clinics and surgery on a regular time
schedule.  They pick up specimens and then deliver them to pathology.  The
immediate problem is the careless with which they are handled.  They
"toss" them into a plastic or paper bag and then empty them on the
receiving desk.  To ones complete amazement-they leak. The clinics,
surgery and messenger supervisors have been contacted, warned, threatened,
verbally abused, begged and pleaded with, but still no end in sight to the

We have explained the problem with contamination, having to redo the
paperwork, and the time consuming effort involved in  handling this
problem, but nothing.  It is a double headed problem, but I feel that if
the messengers would not turn them every which way then the containers
that were not sealed correctly would not leak.

The clinics are furnished bags with special pockets for paperwork on the
outside of the bag while the specimen goes inside, unfortunately the put
the paper inside with the leaky specimen.

I would like some suggestions as to how other hospitals receive their
specimens.  Is this common?  Or, are we just lucky?

Cel Rutledge
San Francisco General Hospital

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