Inpatient phlebotomy practices. A College of American Pathologists Q-Probes quality improvement study of 2,351,643 phlebotomy requests

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1994 Jun;118(6):601-5.


We report outcomes of requests for inpatient phlebotomy procedures from 683 institutions participating in the College of American Pathologists Q-Probes programs. Of the 2,351,643 phlebotomy requests analyzed, 93.2% of venipunctures were successful, 1.6% were unsuccessful, 0.4% were partially successful, and 4.9% were not attempted by the assigned phlebotomist. Administrative inefficiencies prevented the assigned phlebotomist from attempting these venipunctures of which the most frequent reasons were patient unavailability (1.4%), patient transferred or discharged (0.9%), followed by the specimen already collected by someone else (0.7%). These results suggest that performance improvement of phlebotomy services, in general, would achieve the greatest gains by focusing attention to specific processes associated with administrative inefficiencies identified, rather than phlebotomists' technical skills.

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules
  • Bloodletting / standards*
  • Humans
  • Laboratories, Hospital / standards*
  • Quality Control