MICROBIOLOGY GENERAL INFORMATION
Microbiology results can be obtained Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. by calling Client Services at 922-4451.
- Submission of specimens is preferred between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. when the Microbiology Laboratory is adequately staffed with experienced personnel to handle them immediately.
- Limited testing is available between 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. During this time period the STAT tests are: Monos, Expedited HIV, Rapid Strep, and Gram Stains.
Communication between the attending physician and the laboratory is vital. In diagnosis of infectious disease no one method is available which permits the isolation of all possible pathogenic organisms. Clinical information (i.e., tentative diagnosis and type of infection suspected) aids in the selection of proper media and incubation conditions for the isolation of all possible organisms.
The primary objective of the microbiology is to rapidly and accurately provide information concerning the presence or absence of microbial agent(s) specifically or potentially involved in an infectious disease process in a patient.
In order to accomplish this objective, several recommendations followed before the specimen reaches the Microbiology Laboratory for processing. In cases of infectious disease, the selection, timing and method of collection of specimens, as well the time delay in transportation, greatly influence the final results.
"A laboratory test is as good as the specimen and the specimen is as good as the manner in which it is collected." In order to give the most usefully information, the specimen must consist of the right material, taken at the right time, transported to the laboratory in the right manner and subjected in the laboratory to the most productive and informative tests, properly performed and interpreted.
1. Specimens should be obtained before antimicrobial therapy whenever possible.
2. Universal Precautions: All specimens submitted to the Laboratory must be collected and handled as if infectious and capable of transmitting serious infection.
3. Avoid contamination of the specimen by using only sterile equipment and aseptic technique.
4. Specimen should be representative of the infectious process (i.e., sputum, not saliva; exudate from the depth of the wound, not just a swab of the surface).
5. A sufficient quantity of specimen must be submitted to perform all requested tests (refer to Laboratory Manual for quantity and specimen requirements).
6. Shared Specimens (microbiology testing and other laboratory testing).
a. Frequently specimens require testing not only in Microbiology but in other laboratory departments as well.
b. These samples may be split into separate specimens for each department or the entire specimen and all appropriate requisitions should be sent to microbiology. Personnel will culture the specimen and send it to the appropriate laboratory section/hospital department for other testing.
Specimens for microbiology are to be collected in sterile, leak-proof containers or appropriate transport media. (See laboratory manual for specifics.)
7. All specimens must be delivered to the microbiology laboratory as soon as possible after collection. Identification of the specimen begins with the person collecting the specimen.
8. Specimens received unlabeled or mislabeled will not be accepted. See Specimen Labeling Policy. Serious errors in a patient's management or therapy may result from incomplete or incorrect labeling of a specimen or its accompanying test request form.