Sample collection and management is one of the crucial steps in lab operations. It can define the efficiency, turnaround time, and overall patient experience. In this cycle, Sample Accession is the step that differentiates received (acknowledged) samples from the non acknowledged samples in your lab. This adds a layer of quality check before they are is taken for processing. It also ensures compliance & barcoding for speedy operations.
Below is a list of options in the Sample Accession Module that will help you segregate samples, ensure compliance with your lab operating standards & improve the turnaround time of your lab.
Sample Segregation & Quality Checks
One of the biggest challenges while receiving samples from patients is which samples to collect and how to tag them as per their sample types & codes. With LiveHealth’s sample accession feature, you can now identify different samples by their types with color codes and vacutainer color types.
Sample segregation also helps in tests like Blood Glucose, which includes two different sample types for same test. A fasting blood sample is taken in early to perform Blood Glucose (fasting) test. Another type include blood sample taken post breakfast to perform Blood Glucose (Post prandial) test. Considering the above two samples, the challenge is how to differentiate between these samples so that the machine doesn’t confuse the fasting sample with the PP sample for the same patient. Sample segregation in accession lets you split samples based on sample types and tests.
For Bidirectionally interfaced instruments, identifying different samples with a separate ID is important. It is the key for communicating the same to the analyzer and back.
Tip: To manage this you can assign prefixes or postfixes in the sample id. This way you allow the machine can recognize if it is a Fasting or a PP sample.
Sample accession solves the problem of identifying different samples by sample types. The accession list can help phlebotomist, listing exactly which samples are in a queue for which patient. Once collected the phlebotomist can acknowledge the collection of the sample by clicking Receive and it moves on for processing. This ensures that only samples received in the processing lab will show status as Pending Processing. Also, there is always a clear status about the location of the sample. So, no time is spent to find a sample in the lab that is unacknowledged
Barcoding In Sample Accession
Barcoding of samples tags physical samples with the Sample Management System or LIMS in an electronically readable way. Simplified and highly granular sample location tracking is possible due to the barcoding of sample containers (vacutainers). It allows you to physically track samples by unique Sample IDs, which are unique for a laboratory.
You can set barcode series of various types, to group samples by date or by patients, or by location. Barcode label also makes it easier to read patient and test details associated with the sample. This is possible with the help of short codes. This reduces the chances of missing out on a test to be performed or misidentifying a sample.
Examples of different barcode series
Sample IDs on the barcode can be of different types, supporting multiple series at once. Each ID is unique and is constructed by logic. This conveys more information in the same ID. You can see a few examples of different series of barcodes in the image above.
Other Benefits Of Using Samples Accession
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, Sample accession also helps with other workflows related to Outsourcing, Home collections, and calculating Pre-Analytical TAT.
Outsourcing After Sample Accession
Sample accession makes sample tracking easier if a sample is being outsourced to another laboratory. With accession, tracking sample across locations or providers is possible with an acknowledgment status at every location. This highly improves process accuracy and reliability, and significantly reduces the chances of samples misplacements. Learn how to manage outsourcing in LIMS.
Home Collection With Sample Accession
Collecting samples at a patient’s home visit and accessioning (acknowledging) at the processing lab adds another layer to the sample accession module. Once the patient books the home collection of the sample, the phlebotomist can use the LiveHealth (now CrelioHealth) App to check which samples to collect. It also allows the phlebotomist to collect the necessary samples capturing the collection date-time, then submits the samples for accessioning to pass the quality check and comply with internal SOPs.
Pre-Analytical TAT Calculations
Sample accession begins after acknowledging a sample at the lab location. Once accession of samples is complete, it marks the end of pre-analytical turnaround time (TAT). This is also the beginning of analytical TAT. With accessioning, it is easier to know the time difference than usual approach.
Labs often spend more time to calculate this difference. Sample accession brings better control and visibility to determine the pre-analytical TAT. It also contributes to take corrective actions accordingly. Knowing the time difference brings much better control and visibility
With sample management, you store processed samples in your archives for evidential or audit purposes. Records of your sample location directly in the sample & lab management system using sample archiving help you keep track of processed samples. This allows you to comply with national and international regulations for accreditation.
The overall impact is –
- Faster processing time
- Reduction of errors
- Better tracking of exceptions