Analysis of clinical specimens to obtain information about the health of a patient.

Data Element

Specimen Collection Method

This is the collection method of the specimen sent for laboratory testing.


CSTE Comment - v5

CSTE supports collection of more granular laboratory data to support case adjudication and reporting as well as patient deduplication and linking of data from cases to ELR, which can be critical. The variables we recommend be added to USCDI v5 include:

Name of testing/performing laboratory and associated identifiers (CLIA)(HIGH PRIORITY)
Name of ordering provider and submitter
Address of testing/performing laboratory 
Accession number at testing laboratory (HIGH PRIORITY for matching purposes)
Date the test was ordered
Date the test was performed (needs to be reconciled with results date/timestamp)
Specimen collection date and time (HIGH PRIORITY) (Needs to be reconciled with Test Date=Clinically relevant time)
Test result value (needs to be reconciled with values/results in USCDI V1 and V2), units, reference range and interpretation (HIGH PRIORITY)
Abnormal flag (HIGH PRIORITY)
Test kit identifier

Dates and times are critical to evaluating the timeliness of reporting - it is a major indicator for the performance of public health surveillance systems and without this information it is unknown how data exchange is impacting the ability for public health to respond in a timely fashion. Although the date and time data are generated by the system, in practice it has been observed that availability of this data to Public Health Departments is sparse for use in timeliness analysis

CDC's comment for USCDI Draft v5

CDC supports the inclusion of this data element in USCDI v5 as it is an element that may be necessary for calculation of our digital quality metrics from FHIR data. Specimen collection method is also used in laboratory surveillance to identify results from specific collection methods.

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