[Histonet] RE: Barcoding specimen tracking, lessons you learned

Della Speranza, Vinnie dellav <@t> musc.edu
Tue Apr 24 13:25:08 CDT 2012

Hi Tim,

One thing I did not anticipate that was an unfortunate eye opener. 

When humans are given a scanner to read barcodes they seem to trust the technology so much that they stop reading with their eyes. 

We had an unfortunate incident where the wrong barcode label was placed onto a specimen container at accessioning. Keep in mind the label containing the barcode also contained a patient name and MRN. Had the next individual in the chain of events, the individual at the grossing table, read the label, she might have noticed the discrepancy. Instead, the barcode on the cassettes was for the wrong patient and of course, the slides likewise. 

So while I adopted barcodes to reduce the likelihood of error, this event made me feel a bit more vulnerable because once the scanners are in use, you may find that staff become so reliant on the technology that they are no longer vigilant in keeping an eye out for problems. I'm sharing this in the hope that by alerting your staff to this pitfall you can avoid experiencing this in your lab.

Vinnie Della Speranza, MS, HTL(ASCP)
Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
Medical University of South Carolina
165 Ashley Avenue MSC 908
Charleston, SC 29425
tel. 843-792-6353
fax. 843-792-8974

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Morken, Timothy
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 1:31 PM
To: Histonet
Subject: [Histonet] Barcoding specimen tracking, lessons you learned

To anyone who has implemented a barcoding/specimen tracking system in your lab. What lessons did you learn that would make it easier if you did it over? We're starting the process and I would like to get some input on things to look out for!

Thanks for any info and comments!

Tim Morken
Department of Pathology
UC San Francisco Medical Center
505 Parnassus Ave, Box 1656
Room S570
San Francisco, CA 94132

(415) 353-1266 (ph)
(415) 514-3403 (fax)
tim.morken <@t> ucsfmedctr.org

Histonet mailing list
Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

More information about the Histonet mailing list