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Uniform Labeling of Blocks and Slides in Surgical Pathology

Guideline Information

  • Guideline status: Inactive—March 2021
  • Inactive guidelines are no longer updated with systematic literature reviews, but the recommendations may still be useful for educational, informational or historic purposes.
  • Published online ahead of print: April 21, 2015
  • Originally published: December 2015

Background

Accurate labeling of paraffin blocks and microscopic glass slides in the practice of surgical pathology is essential to ensure patient safety and to reduce the potential risk of misdiagnosis due to improper specimen identification.  The "Uniform Labeling of Blocks and Slides in Surgical Pathology" evidence-based guideline provides a consistent method for labeling these specimens.

The panel addressed the overarching question, "What are the essential elements for the proper labeling of paraffin blocks and microscopic slides in the routine practice of surgical pathology?" and developed 12 recommendations, including:

  • Laboratories should ensure that all blocks and slides are clearly labeled using two patient identifiers.
  • Laboratories should ensure that the accession designation used on the surgical pathology report and all blocks and slides from that accession, includes the case type, year, and a unique accession number.

Guideline Tools & Resources

Download the following tools and resources to help implement the guideline:

Joint Partner

National Society for Histotechnology

Review more CAP evidence-based guidelines by the Center.

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