Phlebotomy Cycle Time Related to Phlebotomist Experience and/or Hospital Location

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Little information is available regarding expected phlebotomy cycle time (total time needed to draw a blood specimen) in inpatient settings. Examining this variable in 4 hospitals in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, we determined the distribution of phlebotomy cycle times and compared this by hospital and by phlebotomist experience.


Between April 2014 and August 2014, we observed phlebotomy timing at 4 adult acute care hospital locations. Phlebotomists were stratified into 3 experience levels: 0 to 2 years, 2 to 5 years, and more than 5 years. We observed a total of 110 different phlebotomists.


We observed no statistical difference between experience levels (P = .07) or hospital location (P = .44) on mean phlebotomy cycle time.


The mean (SD) phlebotomy cycle time was 259 (52) seconds per patient for normal phlebotomy procedures. If expected minimum and maximum phlebotomy times are defined as mean +/- 2 SD, the expected cycle time range is 196 to 404 seconds.

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