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Joint Commission Considers Relaxing Patient ID Requirements
Joint Commission is considering removing a crucial requirement prior to identifying patients when collecting specimens, including blood samples for crossmatching donor blood.
The requirement to actively engage patients by asking them to state their name prior to sample collection became a Joint Commission requirement in the 2009 NPSGs:
As reported in the March issue of Phlebotomy Today, specimen collection was exempt from the active-patient-involvement requirement in prior years’ NPSGs. Also absent prior to the 2009 NPSGs was the requirement to label the specimen in the presence of the patient. Both steps have been required in the Clinical and Laboratory Standards (CLSI) specimen collection standards, however, CLSI standards are voluntary. Hospitals that don't comply with Joint Commission standards, however, risk losing their accreditation.
Phlebotomy Today readers are urged to submit their comments on the proposed revisions to the Joint Commission by mail, email or through their web site here. Comments must be received by June 16.
FAQ Book a Finalist in Design Competition
Blood Specimen Collection FAQs, the latest book from the Center for Phlebotomy Education, has been named a finalist in the Ben Franklin Awards sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). The book, published last fall, was designed by Joseph Sims, Jr., the Center’s graphic designer and web developer. The award category is for outstanding interior design in a 1- or 2-color book.The 378-page book contains answers to hundreds of the most commonly asked questions on specimen collection culled from the thousands posed to the Center over the years by healthcare professionals around the world. For a preview of the book’s interior design, visit http://www.phlebotomy.com/FAQ.
This Month in Phlebotomy Today
Here’s what subscribers to Phlebotomy Today, the Center for Phlebotomy Education’s paid-subscription newsletter currently in its 10th year of publication, are reading about this month:
For subscription rates and to subscribe to Phlebotomy Today, visit www.phlebotomy.com/PhlebotomyToday.html. The current month’s issue will be emailed to you immediately upon subscribing.
Featured FAQ: Trace element tubes in the order of draw
Q: Our laboratory has been discussing the order of draw, and there is one tube that we are uncertain about: the trace element tube (royal blue stopper). It contains sodium heparin and we use it for copper and zinc testing. Is this collected in the same position as any other heparin tube (i.e., after the serum tube but before the EDTA), or is it collected first because the glass or plastic in other tubes may contain trace elements that could carry over and contaminate it?
A: Trace element tubes have to be collected in a manner that prevents contaminants in the stoppers themselves from accumulating in the needle that pierces each one in a multiple-tube collection, and then carrying it over into the specimen to be tested.
When a trace element is ordered, save the patient a stick and yourself the time by drawing with a syringe and changing the safety transfer device before filling the trace element tube.
Each month, PT--STAT! will publish one of the hundreds of phlebotomy FAQs in the growing database of questions and answers available in Phlebotomy Central, the members-only section of the Center for Phlebotomy Education's web site. For information on joining Phlebotomy Central, visit www.phlebotomy.com/PhlebotomyCentral.html.
Our latest survey asked Phlebotomy Today STAT! readers: “If you could change one thing to make your job easier, what would it be?”
Among all respondents, the single most commonly desired factor that would make their job easier—including more pay—was respect from other departments and patients. Teamwork was a close second with over 30 other suggestions. Comments include (as typed):
Among phlebotomy supervisors and lab managers, tops on the list include physicians who coordinate their orders, a motivated staff, and more space in outpatient drawing areas. Comments include:
Of those who identified themselves as phlebotomists (68%) the most common answer was also respect from patients and other healthcare professionals. Nearly as common was teamwork among coworkers. Surprisingly, phlebotomists wished for better chairs to reduce their back strain while drawing specimens. More money and more training rounded out the list of requests from multiple respondents. Comments (as originally typed) include:
This month’s survey question: If given a choice, would you seek inpatient services at your employing institution for you or a loved one as opposed to elsewhere?
Featured Product: Venipuncture Training Aid
What Would You Do?
Each month, What Would You Do? presents a different case study, then asks readers to contribute their ideas as to how each situation would best be handled. The following month, selected responses will be chosen by the editor and published (sender will be identified by first name and state only). The most accurate, well written response will receive a free download articles from our To the Point® library. The exercise will conclude with a review of the selected submissions and a discussion of the standards pertinent to the case study
Apparently, surfing the Internet is a common activity among our readers and their staff. Multiple readers expressed familiarity with their coworkers and subordinates being preoccupied with online activities unrelated to their work.
Eighty-three percent of those who responded said they would ultimately tell their supervisor if they found a coworker surfing the Internet. Sixty-seven percent said they’d first tell the coworker themselves as fair warning. Sixteen percent said they wouldn’t say anything, but would post the policy against online activity in a prominent place. Another sixteen percent said they would not say anything, confident that their judgment day would come soon enough.
“I have been in this situation with the Internet before. First I spoke with my co-workers…of course they didn't think they were spending that much time. As time went by I got tired of being the one going on the floors all the time. I gave them a second warning and by the third time I went directly to the supervisor. The supervisor [had] the IT team make everyone unable to use the Internet at all…. I told them that this was the only way to get everyone working. Well it worked!”
For her response, Judy will receive a free download from the Center for Phlebotomy Education’s To The Point® library of articles. Thanks, Judy, and all who responded.
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