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Injecting safety into the specimen collection process


Edmund Natividad, BSN, RN, Clinical Informatics Specialist, CST

​On Saturday, September 28, Lions Gate Hospital's Intensive Care Unit will go live with Clinical Collect as part of the Clinical & Systems Transformation (CST) project.

Sunquest Clinical Collect is a clinical specimen solution used for unit collect lab orders. It ensures positive patient identification and helps to eliminate specimen labeling errors. Lions Gate will be using the latest version of Clinical Collect, which was just released.

“It's basically mimicking the same process as closed loop medication management, except it's for specimen collection," says Edmund Natividad, an inpatient nurse from St. Paul's Hospital, who joined CST this past May.

At this point, Clinical Collect will only be used for nurse and unit collection specimen orders.​​

How it works

Anew barcode will be added on patient armbands in Lions Gate's ICU​ for Clinical Collect scanning. Using the existing medication administration scanner, the clinician will scan the barcode and then, using a wireless printer that can go anywhere at a site, print patient-specific labels at the bedside.

“It normalizes the patient identification process to increase patient safety," says Edmund. “It also gives peace of mind to the patient, knowing their specimen is rightly identified."

Here's what the Clinical Collect workflow looks like:

  • Bring your wireless printer to the patient's bedside, along with your materials

  • Scan the patient's Clinical Collect barcode

  • Collect the specimen

  • Print the labels right then and there

Once you conclude the session and print your labels, the system sends the collection details to the lab.​

Stat to back it up

​"Two patients are affected in mislabelled specimens: the patient from who a sample was collected, and the patient of the wrong label. You then get delayed testing and delayed results for one patient and potentially give false positives to the other patient," says Edmund.

A statistic from The College of American Pathologists says that of all specimen ID errors, more than 50% of those stem from labelling errors on the unit. Human error is to be expected, Edmund says, especially as currently processes are mostly manual.​

“Work on the medicine ward as an inpatient nurse can be pretty busy; I typically have four to five patients in my workload. Human error can happen if you're doing multiple things at once, especially if it's a busy night shift."

With barcode scanning and positive patient identification, these types of errors are reduced.​

When will I get Clinical Collect?

After the Lions Gate ICU, Clinical Collect will be activated across PHC on November 16, to coincide with their CST go-live. All other sites will receive it when their site goes live with CST Cerner.

“Lions Gate's ICU will have an early implementation of Clinical Collect to ensure the system's working and everyone's happy with it," says Edmund, adding that early responses from nurses have been positive.​

SOURCE: Injecting safety into the specimen collection process ( )
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