Inpatient wards are responsible for proper collection and submission of specimens from non-ambulatory patients.
Microbiology specimens, nasopharyngeal swabs and similar specimens will not be collected by the laboratory.
All specimens drawn outside the laboratory during regular business hours must be delivered to the accessioning area.
Request for laboratory testing will be submitted via the Combined Health Care System (CHCS) computer and may be ordered by properly credentialed healthcare providers, privileged by Naval Hospital Oak Harbor. Request from Civilian providers will not be accepted, with the exception of requests for tests on Tricare Prime patients whose primary care manager is Naval Hospital Oak Harbor and who were referred out for specialty testing. In the event of the computerized system being unavailable, requests may be prepared using an appropriate standard form for the particular tests. If used, forms will be completed by the clinic or nursing care unit and will include the following minimum patient information:
- Full name of patient
- Patient's SSN with prefix
- Birth date
- Location of patient (clinic or nursing ward)
- Requesting physician or authorized health care provider
- Date and time specimen was collected (if other than the laboratory staff)
- Specimen source (if applicable)
- Examination(s) requested
- Diagnosis for microbiology requests as well as antibiotic therapy
- Patient's phone number (work or home)
The laboratory department will make a reasonable effort to identify specimens that are not correctly identified or submitted. Those specimens submitted incorrectly or without complete identification will have the appropriate comment entered into the computer; if processed. Specimens that cannot be correctly identified will be discarded and the submitting location will be notified.
Lipemic and hemolyzed specimens cause moderate to severe interference with certain chemical determinations. Only at the request of the provider will hemolyzed specimens be tested.
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Categories of Expedience
Three levels of response time are provided for laboratory tests based upon the degree of urgency, which the physician assigns to an individual patient. The following definitions describe these levels of service:
STAT (Medical Emergency)
This category is reserved for "life and death" emergency situations. This work receives first priority and will be either phoned or entered into CHCS and marked with urgent notification to the provider. Not every test is available STAT. Click here to see listing of available STAT tests. Results for STAT tests will be available within one hour of the specimen arriving to the laboratory.
This category is reserved for "urgent", but non-emergency situations. Results will be available within two hours of the specimen arriving in the laboratory.
Results for routine specimens will generally be available the same day if performed in the laboratory. Test sent to reference laboratories may not be available for several days (or weeks, depending on the test) before results are available.
Special cases deserving extra consideration or special handling should be brought to the attention of the laboratory staff. The laboratory will make every attempt to comply with reasonable requests whenever workload and staffing permit.
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