New standard issued for patient ID, sample labeling

June 4, 2019

CLSI has just released a new standard on patient identification and sample labeling. All laboratory managers, phlebotomy supervisors, and clinical laboratory educators should be modifying their procedures and training materials according to this standard to ensure compliance.

Accuracy in Patient and Sample Identification (GP33-A2) specifies the processes required to ensure accurate patient and specimen identification in manual and electronic systems across the healthcare organization. The document replaces the first edition, which was published only as a guideline. This second edition, upgraded to a standard, defines the proper protocol for identifying patients for all laboratory procedures and for labeling all diagnostic samples including blood and non-blood specimens.

The processes detailed in GP33 include considerations for designing patient ID systems, differences in requirements for patients with and without identification bands, and provisions for patients with communication barriers.

The volunteer committee tasked with revising the document was chaired by Dennis J. Ernst MT(ASCP), NCPT(NCCT) with Anne Marie Martel, T.M. of Ordre Professionnel Des Technologistes Médicaux Du Québec serving as the committee's Vice Chairholder. Additional members of the committee can be found in the full article.

The standard is available from CLSI or, by special arrangement, directly from the Center for Phlebotomy Education, Inc.