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Requests for investigations

All requests should be made using the hospital computer system. This is the Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE). For those areas not covered by ICE, the pre-printed biochemistry request form should be used, with patient labels if possible. Downtime forms for CMFT staff are available on the intranet.

All samples and request cards should have as much information on as possible to enable us to positively identify the patient that the sample has come from, to ensure that the sample and card relate to the same person and to identify which tests need doing and any other requirements.

For some assays it is essential that we know the time that the sample was taken. This is especially important in the case of therapeutic drug monitoring. It is preferred that samples are labelled with pre-printed labels from ICE or from the patient's notes. If handwritten the tube should as a minimum be labelled with surname, first name and hospital record number or other unique identifier such as NHS number.

All requests must adhere to the Directorate of Laboratory Medicine's Sample Acceptance Policy.

External laboratories are able to link to our information system electronically to maximise efficiency of sample referral using the NPex system (Lab2Lab).