I have a little lab in my office, as you may know. Nothing fancy, just semen analysis and urine analysis, but to do these tests, I need a CLIA ID, and I must run my lab with an eye on quality control. To that effect, I have taken great pains to prevent specimen mix-ups. Here is how I did it:
- Pre-label specimen cup with patients name and DOB.
- Staff gives appropriate patient the cup with their name on it.
- Patients produces appropriate body fluid into cup, and leaves cup in bathroom, etc.
Here is why I recently changed:
- Staff gave cup labeled John Smith to patient named Mary Washington
- And vice-versa
- The mistake was caught in time
Here is how I do it now:
- Pre-labeled cup as before
- Staff gives patient cup
- Patient signs attestation sheet that verifies that name on cup is their own
- Attestation sheets are saved
Humans are wonderful. I love them. But you must admit it, we, as a species, can and will find any and all ways to screw-up. Scary stuff. Better re-think your processes and close up the holes.
Thanks for listening,