Implementation of Later Morning Specimen Draws to Improve Patient Health and Satisfaction

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Traditionally, morning blood draws are collected by hospital staff from 3:00 AM through 6:00 AM to have the results ready by 9:00 AM for physician rounds. These laboratory results help physicians to make important patient disposition decisions, including discharging patients within the daily hospital cutoff times. However, morning draws can adversely impact patient care due to sleep disruption. In this paper, we describe the systematic implementation of later-morning blood draw times at our large urban hospital. The sustainability of this shift was of special concern to us, so we used the rapid improvement model (RIM) of change to ensure that every aspect was tested and that the changes were viable. The RIM model enabled us to successfully implement the change in 6 months and sustained this change until the present time.

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