How Sample Accession helps improve overall TAT and efficiency of your Laboratory

Husain Rampurawala

Husain Rampurawala

CrelioHealth for Diagnostics (formerly LiveHealth)
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Sample collection and management is one of the crucial steps in lab operations which 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.

Accessioning is a process of lab to accept the samples in the right condition with full responsibility of the samples or reject them owing to non-compliance in certain areas/protocols.

Below is a list of options in Sample Accession Module that will help you segregate samples, ensure compliance to your lab operating standards & improve turnaround time.

 

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, you can now identify different samples by their types with color codes and vacutainer color types.

Segregation also help for tests like Blood Glucose, where a 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 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 lets you split samples based on sample types and tests.

For Bidirectionally interfaced instruments, identifying different samples with a seperate ID is key for communicating the same to the analyser and back.

Tip : To manage this you can assign prefixes or postfixes in the sample id by which machine can recognise 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 queue of which patient. Once collected the phlebotomist can acknowledge the collection of 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 which is not yet received in the lab.

 

Barcoding

Barcoding of samples tags physical samples with the System in an electronically readable way. Simplified and highly granular sample location tracking is possible due to barcoding of sample containers. 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 short-codes, reducing the chances of missing out 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 a logic to convey more information in the same ID. Above you can see a few examples of different series of barcodes.

 

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

If a sample is being outsourced to another laboratory, tracking of samples across locations or providers becomes possible with an acknowledgement status at every location, greatly improving process accuracy and reliability, and significantly reducing the chances of samples being misplaced.

 

Home collection

Collecting samples at patient’s home visit and accessioning (acklowdeging) at the processing lab adds another layer for the accessioning module. Once the patient books home collection of sample, the phlebotomist can check from the Livehealth app which samples are to be collected, collect the necessary samples capturing the collection date-time, then submit the samples for accessioning to pass the quality check and comply with internal SOPs.

 

Pre-Analytical TAT calculations

Once a sample is received and accession time is captured, as the samples are being accessed, it allows you to mark the end of pre-analytical TAT i.e. the beginning of analytical TAT, bringing much better control and visibility into where most of the time is spent. This can contribute in taking corrective actions accordingly.

 

Sample Archiving

With sample management you store processed samples in your archives for evidential or audit purposes. Records of your sample location directly in the system using sample archiving helps you keep track of processed samples. This allows you to comply with national and international regulations for accreditation.

 

Overall impact is -

  1. -Faster processing time
  2. -Reduction of errors
  3. -Better tracking of exceptions