Improving workflow in phlebotomy units

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To improve patients’ experience of wait times and courtesy in the phlebotomy clinic through an electronic sign-in and notification system, redesign of the area, and training of employees” Le et al (2019).

Abstract:

CONTEXT: The phlebotomy clinic, which sees on average 900 patients a day, was faced with issues of congestion and noise due to inefficient workflow and processes. The staff called out each patient for his or her turn, and patients were unsure of wait time and position in line. These factors led to unfavorable patient satisfaction regarding wait times and courtesy of the staff.

OBJECTIVE: To improve patients’ experience of wait times and courtesy in the phlebotomy clinic through an electronic sign-in and notification system, redesign of the area, and training of employees.

DESIGN: An electronic sign-in and notification system was implemented in the phlebotomy clinic. Several sign-in stations and whiteboard wall monitors were installed in the clinic, along with a redesign of the patient flow. A Press Ganey survey was given to patients after their visit which included 3 questions related to wait times, courtesy, and information about delays, respectively. The mean responses of each month between March 2016 and December 2018 were aggregated and compared for each measure.

RESULTS: Overall, wait time satisfaction saw a 7.7% increase in satisfaction score, and courtesy saw a 1.0% increase in satisfaction score during the course of the several interventions that were introduced. The operational efficiency of the clinic also saw a veritable increase because the percent of patients processed within 20 minutes increased by 27%, from 62% (8212 of 13 245 blood draws) to 89% (11 703 of 13 143 blood draws).

CONCLUSIONS: The interventions implemented proved to increase the patient satisfaction in each of the measures. The electronic sign-in and whiteboards provided valuable information to both patients and staff.

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Reference:

Le, V., Wagar, E.A., Phipps, R.A., Del Guidice, R.E., Le, H. and Middleton, L.P. (2019) Improving Patient Experience of Wait Times and Courtesy Through Electronic Sign-in and Notification in the Phlebotomy Clinic. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. 2019 Nov 22. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2019-0139-OA. .

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