Rejection Criteria

There are established guidelines for the acceptance or rejection of Laboratory specimens processed within NSHA Central Zone's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  Specimens must be labeled in accordance with the Completing the Laboratory Requisition and Labeling Laboratory Specimens instructions to ensure the correct results are reported on the right patient thereby supporting safe patient care.

Laboratory standards, best practice and test requirements guide the criteria for acceptable and unacceptable specimens.

The laboratory follows NSHA Central Zone policies for diagnostic testing acceptance and rejection:

The following lists the criteria used to determine if a specimen is unacceptable for testing.

Specimen Rejection Criteria

  • Specimen is received without an approved requisition
  • Requisition is received without a specimen
  • Requisition or specimen label lacks two patient identifiers
  • Requisition or specimen label information is illegible
  • Requisition and specimen label information is not identical
  • Requisition and/or specimen mislabeled (Patient identifiers inaccurate)
  • Incorrect specimen container/tube is used
  • Date of collection is not recorded
  • Time of collection is not recorded
  • Specimen is clotted
  • Specimen is too old for testing
  • Specimen container is leaking
  • Specimen quantity is insufficient
  • Specimen contamination, dilution or other interfering substances affect specimen integrity; example: hemolysed, lipemic
  • Inappropriate specimen
  • Duplicate test request

Specimens not meeting the requirements may be accepted by the laboratory under the following circumstances:

However, the laboratory staff will not label these specimens and will only proceed with testing in situations where specimen integrity may be compromised by a delay in processing.

An Identification Waiver Form (provided by the Laboratory) must be completed and signed by the individual responsible for collection of the specimen prior to specimen results being reported.

The Identification Waiver Form includes the following declaration:

“The specimen(s)/requisition(s) information is definitely from the above mentioned patient. I attest the accuracy of the information I have provided and request the specimen be analyzed. Obtaining a new specimen(s) would have a negative impact on the condition of the patient, may yield significantly different diagnostic information or is not possible at this time. I have modified the specimen labels and/or requisitions as follows: (explanation of change)*