Quality Management

The laboratory is committed to maintaining accreditation for its quality management programme. The Laboratory participates in all appropriate internal and external quality assurance schemes.


Rules of Good Laboratory Usage

The Laboratory endeavors to process, all routine samples on the day of request.

Follow specific instructions when filling out requisition forms, including clinical data. These are essential to aid interpretation and help with appropriate advice where relevant.

A request is considered urgent if it is required for the immediate care/management of the patient. In other circumstances details should be given on the request form.


If the request is clinically urgent please indicate this on the request form along with the APPROPRIATE CLINICAL INFORMATION.


Specimen containers should be labelled with at least two (2) identifiers, e.g. the patient's full name and National Identification Number, and the date and time that the sample was taken.


Instructions for collection and storage of samples are included in this manual and should be specifically followed.


Barbados Reference Laboratory aims at delivering a successful pathology service and is cognizant of the fact that this depends on the quality of the relationship between our clients and the Laboratory users of the service are encouraged to contact us to discuss problems, issues, comments or suggestions to improve the service guide or services offered.


Collection of Pathology Samples

Our courier service is available Monday to Friday between 08:30 and 16:30 hours and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:30 hours. Please contact the laboratory for assistance, guidelines are set out for storage of samples ONLY IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. SAMPLES FOR U+E MUST NOT BE STORED OVERNIGHT.


Specimen Collection/Transportation of Samples

It is the responsibility of the requester to ensure that all sample containers are properly closed and accompanied by an appropriately filled in request form.


All specimens, but particularly those from patients suspected of having infectious diseases, constitute a hazard to courier and other laboratory staff. All specimens must therefore be managed according to standard principles applied universally. Specimen bags containing leaked containers will be discarded and the requester notified.


Report Availability

All specimens for routine tests received in the laboratory by 15:30 hours will be analysed the same day. All specimens for routine tests received in the laboratory on Saturdays, by 13:00 hours, will be analysed the same day.


Requesting Tests

The information on the request form and the specimen bottle must correspond.


The clinical details section on the form must be completed. This aids with interpretation and helps with appropriate advice where relevant.


Incomplete forms may cause delays in processing of the samples.


Specimen Labelling

All specimens must have the following Patient information

a) Patient Surname

b) Patient First name

c) Patient Date of Birth or National I.D. Number

d) Date and time of sampling.


National I.D. numbers should always be used when know, as this aids successful allocation and maintenance of a single patient file on the Laboratory Information System, which in turn aids effective and speedy, which in turn aids effective and speedy result retrieval, when necessary.


All High Risk specimens must have hazard warning attached to both specimen and request form. High Risk specimens include those from known or suspected cases of HIV infection, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, E. Coli 0157.


Unlabelled Specimens

As a general matter of quality assurance and good risk management, any sample arriving in the laboratory unlabelled will be discarded. The requesting doctor will be informed and a repeat sample requested.


Venous Blood Collection

If taking blood using a syringe and needle do not transfer the blood into a vacutainer by using the vacuum to draw the blood into the bottle. This may cause haemolysis of the sample. Sample bottles SHOULD NOT be pre-labelled before blood is drawn.