Specimen Label Printing Reminders and Troubleshooting

For All Hospital-Based Nurses
Specimen Label Printing Reminders and Troubleshooting

Printer and human error are causing specimen labels to print with some required details missing or unreadable. When printing lab specimen labels, the following elements must be clear and legible, or the specimen may be rejected by the laboratory:

  • Patient’s first and last name.
  • Patient’s MRN and/or DOB.
  • Date and time of specimen collection.

If required elements are not printing clearly on the label, turn the label printer off, and try the following:

  • Pause and turn it back on to allow it to auto calibrate.
  • Open the lid, reseat the labels, close the printer lid and turn the power back on. This will recalibrate and realign the label feed stock within the printer.
  • Open the lid, clean the printer head with alcohol prep, close the lid and turn the power back on.

If the alignment issue is not resolved, please contact the IT Help Desk and be sure to include the label printer hostname for printer maintenance and/or troubleshooting.

For more information, including examples of proper removal of a specimen label from the printer, review the Troubleshooting for Specimen Label Printing tip sheet.

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