In the surgical department at Crosshouse hospital the majority of patients have a blood test taken daily. A blood test is often thought to be a simple investigation that can offer a significant amount of information to clinical staff about what may causing a patient’s symptoms. They are accessible and non-invasive when compared to other forms of investigation.

Requesting, performing, processing and interpreting a blood test is a process that involves many individuals including doctors, phlebotomists, laboratory scientists and portering staff. It may take up to 2 days from day of request for a blood sample to be interpreted by a senior member of medical staff.

The horizontal audit demonstrated the number of individuals involved in the process of taking and processing a blood test. It also highlighted the potential impact of daily blood tests on the hospital system and patient experience.

Going forward, this work may be extended to understand:

  1. Why are blood tests ordered daily?
  2. Should minimal retesting intervals be in place to avoid needless daily blood tests?

For more information please see attached poster:

A Simple Blood Test Poster