Microbiology Clinical Details Pre-requisite

From Monday 2nd September 2019 brief, pertinent clinical details will be a pre-requisite on all Microbiology specimens. This includes providing the body site from where a specimen has been collected, (e.g. swab). A guide to relevant clinical details is available here on our Pathlab website, www.pathlab.co.nz/providers “Microbiology Clinical Details”, and these changes will be supported by the electronic ordering system.

If a request is received without sufficient clinical details, it will be registered, stored, and a comment will be returned to the requestor stating, “This sample has been received by the laboratory for microbiological testing. However insufficient clinical details have been provided. The sample has NOT been tested and has been stored. Please provide clinical details to the laboratory within 72 hours of specimen collection to allow processing of the sample. (After 72 hours a specimen recollect will be required if testing is still clinically indicated.) Please refer to www.pathlab.co.nz/providers "Testing Guides" "Microbiology Clinical Details".

To provide the Microbiology laboratory with clinical details on stored specimens please use the following process:

  • Ensure it is less than 72 hours since the specimen was collected, (after this time a recollect will be necessary).
  • Refer to clinical details guide, www.pathlab.co.nz/providers “Microbiology Clinical Details”.
  • Use Pathlab Test Add process as detailed on our website, www.pathlab.co.nz/test-add. Please do NOT phone the laboratory to add on clinical details as a written copy is required for review by Microbiology staff and for audit/traceability purposes.

Clinical details will not be pre-requisite for “difficult to obtain”, or “critical” specimens, e.g. theatre samples (including minor surgery), blood cultures, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and other sterile site fluids, in/out “catheter” specimens from infants and young children, and bladder aspirates. Clinical details are still strongly recommended in such sample types.

We are grateful for your understanding if we inappropriately reject a sample as we implement these significant changes to the specimen receipting process, and please accept our apologies in advance for any inconvenience during this procedure transition.