HESC7006: Please Advise On Improving The Hospital’s Phlebotomy Service. The Service Is Available To All Patients In The Hospital: Operational Management In Health & Social Care Assignment, OBU, Ireland


Please advise on improving the hospital’s phlebotomy service. The service is available to all patients in the hospital, as long as the patient is either mobile enough to come to the phlebotomy room or is brought there by a porter or nurse.

The service employs six phlebotomists, a receptionist, and a manager. There is no appointment system and staff at the service agree that this is appropriate.
Patients are seen in the order in which they arrive at the phlebotomy room. They must wait in line for this and some patients complain about the limited amount of seating. Similarly, staff members complain about needing to spend their valuable time waiting for the service when they escort patients.

Staff members wait in line with other patients. Furthermore, staff members complain that some of the more challenging patients, such as those in intensive care, cannot be seen by the service, because they cannot be brought to the phlebotomy room. All phlebotomists and the manager work from 8 am to 4 pm. The receptionist works from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Neither the manager nor the receptionist is clinically trained and they don’t undertake clinical work. At night, there is no phlebotomy cover. The service is particularly busy in the morning when patients (including regular customers) who are asked to give samples nil by mouth arrive, and again in the late afternoon when the doctors have finished their ward rounds and made recommendations for testing.

In between, the phlebotomists find themselves with spare time, often for several hours. They use this for daily team meetings. Every phlebotomist has his/her own system of stock keeping, and during the last audit, it was discovered that stock regularly goes out of date and has to be discarded. Examine ideas for improving the quality of the phlebotomy service. Provide specific recommendations.

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