Needles are a top cost expenditure for labs, especially when phlebotomists opt for the “butterfly” style over standard needles. The cost differential is nearly a dollar, but the data does not show there is an increase in the quality of care when using the more expensive butterfly needle. Phlebotomists at a Vancouver, Washington, lab began using more standard needles depending on the patient. They didn’t track per needle costs, but found they reduced overall spending on needles by opting for standard over butterfly when appropriate.
Here's What Worked
- Reducing the use of butterfly needles
- Assessing when it’s sufficient to use a standard needle
- Allowing phlebotomists to self-monitor
What can your team do to use your resources more efficiently? What else could your team do to reduce waste?