11.3 Recording laboratory results

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As soon as test results become available and have been reviewed, a record should be entered into the laboratory database. Most laboratories maintain some form of digital database, often on dedicated computer servers that are backed up frequently to avoid loss of data and to facilitate interaction with requestors and with national and international databases (e.g., WHO). The results and additional information that are collected on each specimen should be entered into the record and include the following data at a minimum:

  • Case identification number
  • Laboratory identifier
  • Date of assay
  • Type of assay (IgM or IgG serology, diagnostic RT-PCR, genotyping RT-PCR, virus culture)
  • Optical density readings (for serology) /Ct (for RT-PCR)
  • Result of assay (pos/neg/indeterminate)
  • Date result reported and to whom (requesting clinician, EPI manager, WHO)
  • Aliquot of sample sent to the RRL? (If yes) *

*If an aliquot was forwarded to the RRL, then the following items should be included:

  • Name of RRL
  • Purpose of referral
  • Laboratory identifier
  • Date specimen forwarded to RRL
  • Date of reception of results from RRL
  • RRL result
  • Date of reporting and to whom