Context.—: Health care organizations face a challenge of assessing preanalytic competency of blood collectors/phlebotomists (BC/Ps).
Objective.—: To pilot a novel methodology for BC/P preanalytic competency assessment and identify potential areas for improvement.
Design.—: Study participants identified preanalytic errors present in 5 blood collection video vignettes. Submitted error descriptions were categorized and then consolidated into a list of standardized required errors for evaluation.
Results.—: The correct identification of required error rates across all videos viewed by 447 BC/Ps from 46 institutions ranged from 0.7% to 91.9%. The median phlebotomist score across all 5 videos was 55.9% for 440 eligible blood collectors and ranged between 38.2% (10th percentile) and 70.6% (90th percentile). The median institutional score from 42 eligible institutions was 55.9% (range, 43.3%-65.3% for the 10th to 90th percentiles). There were no significant associations between any laboratory practice characteristics and the institutional average overall phlebotomist scores. The following phlebotomist characteristics were significantly associated with overall phlebotomist scores: level of education (P = .01), having phlebotomy technician (American Society for Clinical Pathology) certification compared with no or other certifications (P = .002), years of experience in collecting blood specimens (P = .01), and higher average number of venipuncture specimens collected per shift (P = .001).
Conclusions.—: Improvement of the awareness and knowledge of correct blood collection practices is needed, because the best performers (90th percentile) did not recognize approximately one-third of the errors. Using hypothetical blood collection scenarios that incorporate performance errors may be a way to assess preanalytic competency of BC/Ps and create opportunities for continuous improvement.Reference:
Stankovic AK, Blond BJ, Coulter SN, Long T, Lindholm PF. Preanalytic Competency Assessment. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2022 Jul 8. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2021-0436-CP. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35802937.