Objective: To determine the effect of universal transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) screening on total serum bilirubin (TSB) blood draws and phototherapy usage.
Study design: The subjects were infants ≥ 36 weeks gestation. In period 1, TSB was ordered based on clinical factors. In period 2, all infants underwent predischarge TcB measurement; infants with adjusted TcB values in the high-intermediate or high-risk zones had TSB ordered. Data were extracted through chart review.
Result: TSB measurements per 1000 infants decreased from 717 to 713 (P=0.008) between period 1 and 2, with more outpatient and less inpatient blood draws in period 2. Between periods 1 and 2, total phototherapy decreased from 59 to 39 per 1000 infants (P<0.0001), with less inpatient and more readmission phototherapy.
Conclusion: Universal TcB screening was implemented without increasing total blood draws or phototherapy treatment; however, it was associated with a shift in blood draws and phototherapy usage from inpatients to outpatients.