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Study Finds Low Compliance With CLSI Standard in Europe

by Dennis Ernst • April 06, 2016

Standard on blocksResearchers assessed compliance with the venipuncture standard (GP-41-A6, formerly H3-A6) published by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute at facilities in 12 European countries. Twenty-nine provisions of the standardized procedure were assessed in the observational study conducted by the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Working Group for the Preanalytical Phase (EFLM WG-PRE).

Three-hundred thirty-six healthcare professionals were observed performing venipunctures in outpatient, inpatient, and emergency room settings. Half of those observed were nurses with the remainder comprised of laboratorians, physicians and administrators. Administrative staff performed venipunctures in outpatient areas only, whereas all other professions were equally distributed across all settings.

In the critical aspect of patient identification, the nine physicians observed were all compliant with the standard protocol. The 12 administrators observed were 75 percent non-compliant. Physicians did not adhere to test tube labeling policy 65 percent of the time.

Overall, the median error rate for the procedure was 27 percent. Among all observations, the two steps with the least compliance were inspecting supplies for their expiration dates (72 percent non-compliant) and assuring patients didn't bend their arms upward as a substitute for pressure (69 percent). Selecting a suitable venipuncture site had the most compliance at 99.7 percent.

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