Specimen Collection and Shipping

The following guidelines are offered with the goals of ensuring optimal patient/specimen identification and minimizing the risk of formaldehyde exposure for office staff, couriers, and laboratory personnel.
  1. Specimens should be collected by appropriate means and placed in either Zinc Buffered Formalin or Michel’s Fixative under the direction of a physician or his/her designee.
  2. A formalin container most appropriately sized for the proportions of the specimen is recommended.
    1. The ratio of formalin volume to tissue volume should be at least 10/1 but should not exceed 20/1. * PRW provides prefilled Zinc Buffered Formalin containers in a variety of common sizes, including 20mL, 40mL, 60mL and 120mL. Michel’s Fixative containers are available in one size. Click Here to request supplies. *
  3. Each specimen container should be labeled in the presence of the patient at the time of the biopsy or surgical procedure.
    1. Label(s) MUST include the patient’s name, date of birth, body site, and physician.
    2. Avoid pre-labeling of containers.
    3. Patient information must exactly match the information on the requisition form.
  4. After verification of the presence of tissue in the container, the lid should be firmly but not excessively tightened. If the exterior of the container appears to be contaminated with formalin, blood, or other bodily fluids, it should be wiped clean with an appropriate disinfectant.
  5. The sealed and labeled container(s) should be placed into the sealable portion of a PRW biohazard specimen transport bag, and the bag should be zipped closed.
  6. All specimens MUST be accompanied by a completed and legible PRW Requisition Form or printed EMR eLab order form which should include the following information:
    1. Patient's full legal name - first and last
    2. Date of Birth (DOB)
    3. Gender of patient
    4. Type of specimen (body site)
    5. Type of procedure (e.g. Shave, Punch, Excision, etc)
    6. Collection Date
    7. Physician Name/Practice
    8. Pre-Op Diagnosis (Required for Medicare and Medicaid)
    9. Pertinent Clinical Information
    10. Up-to-date insurance information
    11. Office Medical Record or Chart Number (optional)
  7. The requisition sheet should be folded in half horizontally with the writing facing outwards and placed into the outside pocket portion of the specimen bag.
    1. Do not place the paperwork in the sealed compartment with the specimen container(s) as it may become contaminated by any container leaks.
  8. Completed specimens should be stored in an appropriate place, such as a laboratory-provided cooler box, until courier pickup.

**Specimens/Requisitions that are missing the above information maybe be subject to rejection or delayed processing in order to obtain the required information from the submitting office**

CRITERIA FOR REJECTION OF SPECIMENS
  1. Specimen container is not labeled.
  2. Requisition is incomplete or missing identifying information.
  3. Identifying information (such as patient name, date of birth, or body site) on container(s) does not exactly match that of the requisition included.
  4. Specimen container is empty or insufficient for processing.
  5. Specimen is collected improperly or placed in an inappropriate container or fixing medium.

Specimen Shipping Procedure:

1. All specimens must be in a securely tightened prefilled zinc formalin container (containers provided). Each bottle must be individually labeled with patient name, DOB, specimen body site, and physician.

2. Place labeled specimen bottles in zipper pocket of biohazard specimen bag and zip closed. A completed PRW requisition form or printed order form (from your EMR) must be folded and placed in back pouch of each specimen bag matching the patient and bottles enclosed.

3. Place prepared specimen bag(s) into cardboard box. Put specimen box into pre-labeled FedEx “Clinical Pak”. Now your Specimens are now ready to ship!

+ Specimen Collection and Handling Guidelines
The following guidelines are offered with the goals of ensuring optimal patient/specimen identification and minimizing the risk of formaldehyde exposure for office staff, couriers, and laboratory personnel.
  1. Specimens should be collected by appropriate means and placed in either Zinc Buffered Formalin or Michel’s Fixative under the direction of a physician or his/her designee.
  2. A formalin container most appropriately sized for the proportions of the specimen is recommended.
    1. The ratio of formalin volume to tissue volume should be at least 10/1 but should not exceed 20/1. * PRW provides prefilled Zinc Buffered Formalin containers in a variety of common sizes, including 20mL, 40mL, 60mL and 120mL. Michel’s Fixative containers are available in one size. Click Here to request supplies. *
  3. Each specimen container should be labeled in the presence of the patient at the time of the biopsy or surgical procedure.
    1. Label(s) MUST include the patient’s name, date of birth, body site, and physician.
    2. Avoid pre-labeling of containers.
    3. Patient information must exactly match the information on the requisition form.
  4. After verification of the presence of tissue in the container, the lid should be firmly but not excessively tightened. If the exterior of the container appears to be contaminated with formalin, blood, or other bodily fluids, it should be wiped clean with an appropriate disinfectant.
  5. The sealed and labeled container(s) should be placed into the sealable portion of a PRW biohazard specimen transport bag, and the bag should be zipped closed.
  6. All specimens MUST be accompanied by a completed and legible PRW Requisition Form or printed EMR eLab order form which should include the following information:
    1. Patient's full legal name - first and last
    2. Date of Birth (DOB)
    3. Gender of patient
    4. Type of specimen (body site)
    5. Type of procedure (e.g. Shave, Punch, Excision, etc)
    6. Collection Date
    7. Physician Name/Practice
    8. Pre-Op Diagnosis (Required for Medicare and Medicaid)
    9. Pertinent Clinical Information
    10. Up-to-date insurance information
    11. Office Medical Record or Chart Number (optional)
  7. The requisition sheet should be folded in half horizontally with the writing facing outwards and placed into the outside pocket portion of the specimen bag.
    1. Do not place the paperwork in the sealed compartment with the specimen container(s) as it may become contaminated by any container leaks.
  8. Completed specimens should be stored in an appropriate place, such as a laboratory-provided cooler box, until courier pickup.

**Specimens/Requisitions that are missing the above information maybe be subject to rejection or delayed processing in order to obtain the required information from the submitting office**

CRITERIA FOR REJECTION OF SPECIMENS
  1. Specimen container is not labeled.
  2. Requisition is incomplete or missing identifying information.
  3. Identifying information (such as patient name, date of birth, or body site) on container(s) does not exactly match that of the requisition included.
  4. Specimen container is empty or insufficient for processing.
  5. Specimen is collected improperly or placed in an inappropriate container or fixing medium.
+ Specimen Shipping

Specimen Shipping Procedure:

1. All specimens must be in a securely tightened prefilled zinc formalin container (containers provided). Each bottle must be individually labeled with patient name, DOB, specimen body site, and physician.

2. Place labeled specimen bottles in zipper pocket of biohazard specimen bag and zip closed. A completed PRW requisition form or printed order form (from your EMR) must be folded and placed in back pouch of each specimen bag matching the patient and bottles enclosed.

3. Place prepared specimen bag(s) into cardboard box. Put specimen box into pre-labeled FedEx “Clinical Pak”. Now your Specimens are now ready to ship!