Team-Tested Practices
Laboratory Medical Technologist Celena Anderson and patient Magnolia Ramey.

Better needles help both patients and technicians. Pictured left to right are Laboratory Medical Technologist Celena Anderson and patient Magnolia Ramey.

New Needles Bruise Less, Please Patients

When a San Francisco outpatient lab started to use needles from a new provider, complaints went up. Five to six times a week, patients complained of bruising, they said the needles looked like harpoons, and staff feared needlesticks. Through a collaborative effort between labor and management, the team switched to a different brand of needle and patient satisfaction soared. Complaints dropped 70 percent to one every two to three weeks, and near-miss needlesticks also decreased.

What Got Results

  • Identifying the problem was with the needle supplier
  • Filing a Responsible Reporting Form, and working together to arrive at the solution
  • Switching needle suppliers to improve care and safety
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