Verifying the Patient's Identity

Confirming the patient’s identity is the most crucial step in collection of laboratory specimens.  Many patients have similar names and the same date of birth. Unique identification is required to ensure results are reported on the correct patient.

Patient Identification

See NSH policy NSHA CL-SR-025 Client Identification

Unidentified Patients

Unique situations may arise where a patient can not be identified. e.g., Emergency trauma patient. See Nova Scotia Health's policy CH 07-041 Unidentified Patient

Anonymous Patients

Coded specimens for anonymous testing will be accepted if submitted with unique codes or identifiers assigned by a requester. This unique code/identifier will be the only identifier required on the requisition and specimen.

Nova Scotia Health Patients with Identification Bands

Check the patient’s identification band for the full name and Nova Scotia Health Medical Record number and verify the information against the appropriate documentation (e.g., chart, requisitions etc.)

Nova Scotia Health Patients without Identification Bands

For the registration process, the patient provides identification including the patient’s official name and one other unique identifier, preferably the Provincial Health Care Number. The Health care provider checks the patient’s identification and verifies the information against the requisition.
The health care provider asks the patient to state their official name and date of birth.

For other identifiers that can be used please refer to Appendix A in CH 30-040 Patient Identification and Same Name Alert.

Note:  Date of Birth does not constitute a unique identifier.

Specimen Identification

The requisition and specimen must be correctly labeled to be accepted; information on the requisition must be identical to information on the specimen. 
For complete requirements see: