Reducing Specimen Labeling Errors

The Problem:

According to the College of American Pathologists (CAP), approximately 169,000 adverse events occur in U.S. hospitals annually due to specimen identification errors. 

The Goal:

To improve collection compliance among the newborn infant population by installing a new, more failsafe process. 

Method & Implementation:

In 2016, MUSC’s Labor and Delivery department (L&D) made the decision to add a second independent sample requirement and then piloted their Cord Blood Collection Kit—a kit that would be kept in the patient’s room that provided a clear storage bag, a specimen tube designated for cord blood use only, and a red bio-hazard bag for the delivery of the specimen.

Results:

After rolling out the new kits, MUSC saw a 93% decrease in cord blood specimen labeling errors.  

For more information about this best practice, email patientsafety@musc.edu. To tell us about your own best practices, email stories@scha.org.

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