Increased Patient Satisfaction and a Reduction in Pre-Analytical Errors Following Implementation of an Electronic Specimen Collection Module in Outpatient Phlebotomy

Lab Med. 2017 Aug 1;48(3):282-289. doi: 10.1093/labmed/lmx024.


Background: Patient satisfaction in outpatient phlebotomy settings typically depends on wait time and venipuncture experience, and many patients equate their experiences with their overall satisfaction with the hospital.

Methods: We compared patient service times and preanalytical errors pre- and postimplementation of an integrated electronic health record (EHR)-laboratory information system (LIS) and electronic specimen collection module. We also measured patient wait time and assessed patient satisfaction using a 5-question survey.

Results: The percentage of patients waiting less than 10 minutes increased from 86% preimplementation to 93% postimplementation of the EHR-LIS (P ≤.001). The median total service time decreased significantly, from 6 minutes (IQR, 4-8 minutes), to 5 minutes (IQR, 3-6 minutes) (P = .005). The preanalytical errors decreased significantly, from 3.20 to 1.93 errors per 1000 specimens (P ≤.001). Overall patient satisfaction improved, with an increase in excellent responses for all 5 questions (P ≤.001).

Conclusions: We found several benefits of implementing an electronic specimen collection module, including decreased wait and service times, improved patient satisfaction, and a reduction in preanalytical errors.

Keywords: electronic health record; laboratory information system; outpatient phlebotomy; patient satisfaction; positive patient identification; preanalytical errors; wait time.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / standards*
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Humans
  • Laboratories
  • Outpatients
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Phlebotomy
  • Time Factors