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Arch Surg. 2011 May;146(5):524-7. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.2011.103.

Surgical vampires and rising health care expenditure: reducing the cost of daily phlebotomy.

Author information

1
DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida 33136, USA. bstuebing@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether simply being made continually aware of the hospital costs of daily phlebotomy would reduce the amount of phlebotomy ordered for nonintensive care unit surgical patients.

DESIGN:

Prospective observational study.

SETTING:

Tertiary care hospital in an urban setting.

PARTICIPANTS:

All nonintensive care unit patients on 3 general surgical services.

INTERVENTION:

A weekly announcement to surgical house staff and attending physicians of the dollar amount charged to nonintensive care unit patients for laboratory services during the previous week.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Dollars charged per patient per day for routine blood work.

RESULTS:

At baseline, the charges for daily phlebotomy were $147.73/patient/d. After 11 weeks of residents being made aware of the daily charges for phlebotomy, the charges dropped as low as $108.11/patient/d. This had a correlation coefficient of -0.76 and significance of P = .002. Over 11 weeks of intervention, the dollar amount saved was $54,967.

CONCLUSION:

Health care providers being made aware of the cost of phlebotomy can decrease the amount of these tests ordered and result in significant savings for the hospital.

PMID:
21576605
DOI:
10.1001/archsurg.2011.103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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