The following message is distributed to selected staff on behalf of the Department of Pathology.

On Tuesday, September 3, 2013, a revised Department of Pathology procedure (500.015 Addressing Misidentified Specimens Submitted to Pathology) regarding the acceptance of misidentified specimens (mislabeled, unlabeled or wrong patient) submitted to Pathology for testing will go into effect.

The accuracy and usefulness of laboratory test results starts with the specimen being properly identified with the patient for whom it belongs too. Specimens must be properly identified in the presence of the patient after they are collected. It is critical to properly identify specimens with the patient, to ensure the specimens are labeled with the correct label, and that labeled specimens are sent to the lab with the correct order form (if applicable). The patient care areas are strongly encouraged to re-collect all misidentified specimens (as defined in this procedure) whenever there is any doubt as to the correct identity of the specimens and when the specimens can be re-collected with minimal invasiveness. The Department of Pathology procedure 500.015 will be available on the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics - The Point in the Pathology Quality Management policy library.

Questions should be directed to Matthew Krasowski, MD, PhD, medical director of the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory (384-9380, or Tim Gehris, MT(ASCP), CQA(ASQ), Clinical Pathology Quality Assurance Coordinator (353-6721,