Specimen Processing

Home FAQ Policies Society Links Contact Information

Specimen Processing

A service unit within the Pathology Laboratories, Specimen Processing receives incoming laboratory test specimens from patient floors and clinics (on and off-site) for the University of Michigan Health System. Staff in this unit complete the entry of orders into the Laboratory Information System which is maintained by Pathology Data Systems.

A physical inspection of the specimen is performed to ensure that it is in the correct tube, is not damaged, and has been transported to Specimen Processing appropriately.

The specimen is then prepared (centrifuged, divided into aliquots) and distributed to the requested laboratory. Specimen Processing staff also ship patient samples to outside reference laboratories if the procedure is not performed in one of our laboratories.

Telephone reporting of laboratory results is provided on a limited basis and should be requested only when access to a patient's chart or to a computer terminal is not feasible.


For additional information, please refer to the Clinical Test Catalog. Also, see the Sendout Links and Sendout Instructions.

  • Handles over 4,000,000 specimens/year
  • Most of the Order Entry
  • Some specimen preparation
  • Overnight storage for non-24hr labs