Following procedures for specimen collection and processing is crucial because it maintains the accuracy and integrity of any collected data. In many cases, simple variability affects any experiment. This can be minimized by utilizing a set of standards when handling specimens. It's also important to maintain strict guidelines of specimen handling as a safety measure for the people handling samples.
When specimens are transported, it's important that all factors are accounted for. Factors such as temperature, type of vehicle and the person or persons transporting specimens can all impact specimen integrity. Specific samples have strict guidelines regarding temperature and packaging that must be adhered to during transportation. As an example, blood samples must be kept frozen in containers that maintain proper temperature. When processing specimens, personnel and staff must adhere to strict handling standards. In many cases, there must be a paper trail detailing the person or persons who took possession of the specimen. Due to the possibility of chemically-induced or blood-borne pathogens, proper protocols must be used in handling each case. In the medical field, procedures dictate the proper handling of every sample as a means of analysis, diagnosis and research. If the samples are mishandled or processed incorrectly, the results and observations would be inaccurate and therefore unusable.