Sample collection and management is one of the crucial steps in lab operations that can define the efficiency, turnaround time, and overall patient experience. Sample Accession is the step that differentiates the samples received or to be received in your lab, adding a layer of quality check before they are is taken for processing and 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 for tests like Blood Glucose, where the same test is performed on different samples. A fasting sample is taken in early with which Blood Glucose fasting is performed, and post breakfast another sample is taken with which a Postprandial test (same blood glucose) is performed. So here the challenge is how to differentiate between these samples so that the machine doesn’t confuse the fasting sample with the PP sample of 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 key for communicating the same to the analyzer and back.
Tip: To manage this you can assign prefixes or postfixes in the sample id by which 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 by showing a list to the 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 are shown as Pending Processing, and there is always a clear status about the location of the sample, so no time is spent finding a sample that is not yet received in the lab.
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 with the help of shortcodes, reducing 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 to convey 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.
If a sample is being outsourced to another laboratory, sample accession makes tracking samples across locations or providers possible with an acknowledgment status at every location. This highly improves process accuracy and reliability, and significantly reduces the chances of samples being misplaced. Learn how to manage outsourcing in LIMS.
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 check which samples are to be collected from the Livehealth (now CrelioHealth) App. 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
Once a sample is received and sample accession time is captured, as the samples are being accessed, it allows you to mark the end of pre-analytical TAT. This is the beginning of analytical TAT, bringing much better control and visibility wherein most of the time is spent. This can contribute to taking corrective actions accordingly.
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