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, developed by the CAP and the National Society for Histotechnology, 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 status: Active
- Published online ahead of print: April 21, 2015
- Originally published: December 2015
Guideline Tools and Resources
Download the following tools and resources to help implement the guideline:
- Summary of Recommendations (PDF, 449 KB)
- Methodology Supplement (Supplemental Digital Content) (PDF, 756 KB)
- Uniform Labeling Presentation (PDF, 168 KB)
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 90 KB)
- Uniform Labeling of Blocks and Slides in Surgical Pathology Infographic (PDF, 402 KB)