Definitions and Glossary

This is the glossary of terms used on the web site


Chain of Custody

Each sequential participant in the act of collecting and transporting a specimen from the patient to the laboratory. The effective documentation of this chain provides a valid audit trail for the specimen for accreditation or litigation purposes.

Clinical Laboratory

In the context of this manual - ‘Clinical Laboratory Services’, or Division 4 Group A.


The removal of blood from a vein using a needle, also known as venepuncture (although this may also indicate part of the process to inject into a vein) and sometimes venesection or venotomy (although these latter may also indicate surgical incision into a vein). Phlebotomy may be used to obtain blood for the purposes of diagnostic tests or as a treatment in itself for certain conditions.


Patient Identification.


Requiring immediate action or attention. It is important that if a specimen requires urgent analysis that this status is effectively conveyed to the participants in the ‘chain of custody’ from specimen collection to the laboratory. The abuse or overuse of this status overloads the process and devalues the term when there is a truly urgent situation; it should not be used lightly.

Specimen and sample are often used interchangeably. However:

  • Specimen usually refers to an item to be characterized chemically or biologically.
  • Sample can refer to a finite portion of that specimen which is taken for analysis.
    For simplicity the term specimen is used here to indicate the discrete biological material of whatever size

sent to the laboratory for analysis.

Specimen Collection

Producing a specimen from a patient for laboratory analysis.

Specimen Handling

The process of labelling, manipulating and storing of a collected patient’s specimen or packaging prior to transportation.

Specimen Transportation

The process of transporting the collected, labelled, and packaged patient’s specimen to the Clinical Laboratory Services for analysis.

Saturday, 17 February 2018 Posted in General Information

General Information

General information about the website and its content

Location of Laboratories

Where the laboratories are located and information about the services offered at each laboratory