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New standard on patient, sample identification

Patient identification and sample labeling now standardized

by Dennis Ernst • November 01, 2019

Phlebotomy News


In July of this year, CLSI 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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CDC GP33 patient identification sample labeling standard


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