Context A Children’s Hospital offers a twice daily phlebotomy service on the General Paediatric ward. At the start of this project, if the phlebotomists were unsuccessful in obtaining a blood sample, for any reason, there was no system of letting the medical team know that a sample had not been successfully taken. This led to delays in decision making and discharges, reduced patient satisfaction, frustration of junior doctors and poor implementation of service provision.
Problem The aim of this project was to improve the use of the Paediatric Phlebotomy service by General Paediatrics. The main problem identified was the lack of a system to notify medical teams of unsuccessful blood requests.
Design and intervention A phlebotomy process map was constructed to help analyse reasons why “failure to notify” occurred. Pre and post intervention audits were conducted using the number of unsuccessful blood requests notified as the baseline measurement.
Measurement of improvement
The initial intervention was modified based on feedback during the process. An 44% improvement in the number of unsuccessful blood request notfications and therefore a potential cost savings of £6240 was estimated based on the post-intervention audit.
Lessons learnt The post intervention audit results demonstrated a successful intervention. Further improvements may be gained from clarifying misunderstandings over long line sampling. Further work is required as to whether these improvements can be sustained and the true cost saving measured.