New Phlebotomy Technology – Phlebotomy Goes Wireless. Blood collection procedures are not only inconvenient (or traumatic) for patients; they are equally cumbersome for phlebotomists too. For one, phlebotomists – medical professionals whose primary duty is to collect blood specimen from a human or animal patient – have to deal with considerable paperwork apart from doing actual venipuncture (making incisions on the vein). In a non-automated setting, they usually would have to go back and forth to the laboratory computer to download blood collection orders from doctors, upload patient data, and make labels for collected samples. With new phlebotomy technology – phlebotomy goes wireless, phlebotomists can do everything in one convenient setting: at the patient’s bedside. Everything seems to be going digital these days, so this leap forward is a welcome addition to medical technology. If temperature-taking is using digital thermometer, so is blood-collecting using digital technology.
As a result, phlebotomists in select hospitals have started using wireless tablets and handheld printers to streamline paperwork that usually eats up a good portion of their shift. This enables them to print at patient bedside doctors’ orders for blood sample, patient statistics and other routine procedures. Apparently, this new phlebotomy technology – phlebotomy goes wireless is not only a timesaver, it also boosts patient satisfaction of the entire procedure.
There is more. Apart from cutting down paperwork and eliminating redundancies, this new technology also allows phlebotomists to send updates to the main laboratory computer, which in turn informs the phlebotomist onsite if there are any additional blood samples that need to be collected from a patient. From a patient’s perspective, this means that blood drawing can be reduced to a single session which reduces anxiety and stress.
From the hospital’s point of view, the staff hours dedicated to doing paperwork has been reportedly reduced. This means that overall, hospitals are utilizing phlebotomists’ time to actual blood collection work. Labor-wise, this means fewer needs for phlebotomists since the same number of them have more time to dedicate to blood drawing. This will also make hospitals more responsive to sudden fluctuations of blood orders. By using wireless technology and data digitalization, phlebotomist staffing can also be done with ease, such that additional manpower can be deployed to departments that are short-handed at certain periods.
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The use of these wireless gadgets and portable printers has even sparked curiosity among hospital staff. The entire procedure is thought of as a novelty, but actual phlebotomists who have started migrating to this digital system reports overall satisfaction in the new-established routine. Paperwork and adjunct responsibilities that had nothing to do with blood collecting have been greatly reduced, and phlebotomists are now more focused on building expertise on actual procedures and making the experience for the patient as convenient as possible.