Priority Orders

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Courier Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Priority Orders

The provider orders specimens to be collected in the following ways, using what is known as a priority status:
  • A STAT priority indicates a specimen that must be collected immediately with the testing performed as soon as possible to avoid harm to the patient. Many lab tests can be ordered as STAT if the provider feels the result is needed faster than usual.
  • A routine priority indicates a specimen to be collected on the next draw or collection schedule, with the testing performed within a designated time frame (such as within four hours). Most laboratory tests are ordered as routine.
  • A timed priority indicates a specimen that the provider has designated a specific draw/collection time, and the testing will be performed as soon as possible.
Certain specimens will need protection from all light sources, including room light and sunlight.