Team-Tested Practices
Phlebotomist drawing blood

Using standard needles instead of butterfly needles can save money and deliver quality care.

Standard Needles Beat Butterfly in Cost, Match in Quality

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.

What Got Results

  • Reducing the use of butterfly needles
  • Assessing when it’s sufficient to use a standard needle
  • Allowing phlebotomists to self-monitor
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