Clinical Laboratories Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Test X does not show up on STOR sheets - why?
- Why can't I order a full fungal culture on CSF?
- Which common hematology tests require quick delivery to the clinical labs?
- My mailing address has changed. How do I notify the Clinical Labs?
1. Test X does not show up on STOR sheets - why?
Several low volume tests are not defined with a unique test code in the Laboratory Information System (LIS). They are defined under the test (procedure) code of "MOLT" with an associated name of "Miscellaneous Outside Test." The exact test name is actually a part of the result of the test. If a test is listed on the online lab manual with a procedure code of "MOLT" it falls under this category. Since STOR sees all MOLT tests as the same test (they all have the same test code), STOR may only show the most recent one, even if they are actually different tests. Two other test codes with similar behavior are BTMOLT and BTRAST.
2. Why can't I order a full fungal culture on CSF?
Fungal cultures are held for weeks to detect slow growing Dermatophytes, which would be a very rare finding in CSF. CSF is tested for cryptococcal antigen and can be cultured for Cryptococcus. The antigen test is available from 0800 to 2230 hours. The Cryptococcus culture system also will detect Candida and Coccidioides. If cocci is suspected, write down "Look for cocci" on the Microbiology requisition. Additionally, Coccidioides immitis meningitis can be diagnosed by CSF culture, but culture is only about 50 % sensitive. Due to the low sensitivity and specificity, if cocci is suspected, we suggest also ordering serology on the CSF for coccidioides.
3. Which common hematology tests require quick delivery to the clinical labs?
The following tests must be completed within two hours of specimen collection:
- Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and body fluids for cell count and differential -- A time delay can result in cellular degeneration, thus adversely affecting results.
- Urinalysis - This includes urine dipstick and microscopic examination.
The following test must be completed within four hours of specimen collection:
- Coagulation tests - These include prothrombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT). Additional coagulation tests cannot be added to a specimen that has exceeded this time period from collection.
4. My mailing address has changed. How do I notify the Clinical Labs?
Notify the Medical Staff Office (MSO) immediately if you have any changes to your contact information. The Clinical Laboratories and other ancillary services receive daily electronic updates from the MSO information system. Changes in the MSO system will replicate to all systems that receive an electronic feed so that you do not have to contact the ancillary systems directly.