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New Standard Issued on Patient/sample ID

Guidance on identifying patients and labeling blood samples properly

by Dennis Ernst • June 07, 2019

Phlebotomy News, Technical

CLSI's GP33 patient identification and sample labeling standard

CLSI has just released a new standard on patient identification and sample labeling. All laboratory managers, phlebotomy supervisors and clinical laboratory educators should be modifying their procedures and training materials according to this standard to ensure compliance.

Accuracy in Patient and Sample Identification (GP33-A2) specifies the processes required to ensure accurate patient and specimen identification in manual and electronic systems across the health care organization. The document replaces the first edition, which was published only as a guideline. This second edition, upgraded to a standard, defines the proper protocol for identifying patients for all laboratory procedures and for labeling all diagnostic samples including blood and non-blood specimens.

The processes detailed in GP33 include considerations for designing patient ID systems, differences in requirements for patients with and without identification bands, and provisions for patients with communication barriers.

The volunteer committee tasked with revising the document was chaired by Dennis J. Ernst MT(ASCP), NCPT(NCCT) with Anne Marie Martel, T.M. of Ordre Professionnel Des Technologistes Médicaux Du Québec serving as the committee's Vice Chairholder. Other members of the committee included:

Deirdre Astin, MS, MT(ASCP)---New York State Dept of Health
Nancy Dubrowny, MS, MT(ASCP)SC---BD Preanalytic Systems
Sheri Hearn, BC, MPH---Oregon Public Health Laboratory
Peggy Mann, MS, MT(ASCP)---The University of Texas Medical Branch
Estelle Ninnemann, MT(ASCP)---ACL Laboratories
George Souza, BS, CPT, CPI---Massachusetts General Hospital
Sheryl Thiessen, BSMT, MT(ASCP), MLT(CSMLS), CLQM---British Columbia Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Thomas Dew---Taylor Healthcare
Sharon Johnson---Mayo Clinic

The standard is available from CLSI or, by special arrangement, directly from the Center for Phlebotomy Education, Inc. 


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