The effect of respiratory care department management of a blood gas analyzer on the appropriateness of arterial blood gas utilization

Respir Care. 1992 Apr;37(4):343-7.


We investigated the effects of establishing a blood gas analysis service controlled by respiratory care practitioners (RCPs) on the appropriateness of arterial blood gas (ABG) sampling. An ABG analyzer was placed outside the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) and only RCPs were permitted to process samples on it. In 1-month and 1-year follow-up audits of appropriateness of ABG analysis, the nursing staff improved from 42% appropriate to 73% appropriate in both follow-up periods. RCPs maintained a high degree of appropriateness in all periods (90%, 87%, and 91%), although the percentage of the total ABGs performed by RCPs increased. Additional benefits included a better mutual understanding of each caregiver's role and work load, more collaboration among caregiver groups, and caregiver's perception of improved patient care.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Gas Analysis / methods
  • Blood Gas Analysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Respiratory Therapy Department, Hospital / standards*
  • Respiratory Therapy Department, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • United States