Blood sampling guidelines with focus on patient safety and identification

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We recommend that patient identification must be done using open questions and ideally three separate pieces of information. Labelling of the tube or linking the identity of the patient to the tube label electronically must be done in the presence of the patient whether it is before or after sampling” Cornes et al (2018).

Abstract:

It has been well documented over recent years that the pre-analytical phase is a leading contributor to errors in the total testing process (TTP). There has however been great progress made in recent years due to the exponential growth of working groups specialising in the field. Patient safety is clearly at the forefront of any healthcare system and any reduction in errors at any stage will improve patient safety. Venous blood collection is a key step in the TTP, and here we review the key errors that occur in venous phlebotomy process and summarise the evidence around their significance to patient safety. Recent studies have identified that patient identification and tube labelling are the steps that carry the highest risk with regard to patient safety. Other studies have shown that in 16.1% of cases, patient identification is incorrectly performed and that 56% of patient identification errors are due to poor labelling practice. We recommend that patient identification must be done using open questions and ideally three separate pieces of information. Labelling of the tube or linking the identity of the patient to the tube label electronically must be done in the presence of the patient whether it is before or after sampling. Combined this will minimise any chance of patient misidentification.

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Reference:

Cornes, M., Ibarz, M., Ivanov, H. and Grankvist, K. (2018) Blood sampling guidelines with focus on patient safety and identification – a review. Diagnosis. October 13th. .

doi: 10.1515/dx-2018-0042.

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