St. James Healthcare

Histology and Cytology

I,  Histology and Routine Cytology

A. Tissue Specimens, Routine

If you are using Epic, order Pathology Tissue Order or Cytology Body Fluid order depending on the specimen.  If the specimen is coming to the lab from an outpatient site, complete the entie OP-3 form.

  • Place routine tissue specimens in a formalin-filled tissue container (supplied by lab). Label with the patient's name, Medical Record/dob, date of collection, and Source (minimum).
  • Be sure to comment on history and diagnosis in space provided (this is a Joint Commission requirement).

B. Pap Smears

  • Obtain a kit from the lab.
  • Immediately after smears are made, apply the fixative (provided in kit).
  • Label frosted end of slide with the patient's name.
  • Allow smears to dry before placing them in the cardboard container.
  • Complete Yellowstone Pathology Cytology Service Form. Write appropriate notes on patient's history in the "Comments" section.
  • Note if a Maturation Index is required.
  • This testing is referred to Yellowstone Pathology.


  • Contact the lab to perform ERA/PRA/Her 2 Neu testing.
  • Provide and order.
  • Testing is performed on formalin fixed tissue and will be sent for testing as soon as the specimen is available.

II. Processing of Body Fluids for Cytology

  • In Epic, order Cytology Body Fluid order (fluids including Sputum, Pleural-thoracentesis, Paracentesis, Ovarian Cyst Fluid and Bronchial Washings).
  • Bring the specimen to the lab immediately with the appropriate paperwork.

Please call the Histology Department for more detailed instructions and to schedule any special procedures.

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