Information For Providers

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Courier Schedule

Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday 7:00 am to 10:30 am
No courier service is provided on Sunday or holidays
(Christmas Eve: 7:00 am to noon)

To ensure that routine testing is picked up by 5:00 pm, we ask that you call the courier approximately 20-30 minutes prior to the cut off time.
Courier Phone: (563) 590-2427

Provider Frequently Asked Questions

How much information is needed on a specimen label?

Minimum requirements for labeling are patient name, identification number, date and time of collection and collector's initials. Optional information includes the patient's date of birth (when used along with another unique identifier number) and doctor name.

How much blood must be collected in an EDTA (purple top) tube for hematology tests?

The optimum volume in a vacuum tube is a filled tube. The minimum volume is one fourth full. Specimens must be inverted gently but completely five to eight times immediately following collection.

How long can an EDTA (purple top) blood sample be stored before it is tested for a CBC?

The stability for all CBC/diff parameters including reticulocyte counts is 4 hours at room temperature, up to 48 hours at 2-8°C.

How long can a urine specimen be stored before testing?

Urine specimens for routine urinalysis can be held at room temperature for two hours or refrigerated up to four hours before testing. Urine samples for culture can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.

What are the optimal times for the collection of blood cultures?

As soon as possible after the onset of fever or chills, or whenever serious infection is suspected. The ideal time interval between blood collections is 30 - 60 minutes. However, in medically urgent situations, in which antibiotic therapy is to be started immediately, two separate blood culture specimens are collected from different arms within a few minutes and then antibiotic therapy is started.

What will cause the lab to reject a stool specimen for a parasitic exam?

Specimens containing dirt, barium, bismuth, antidiarrheal compounds or oily laxatives are unsatisfactory for parasite examination. One week must elapse after the administration of barium or bismuth before a specimen can be submitted for ova & parasite examination.