The true value of a safety-driven blood collection purchasing strategy

Last edited: | Value-based Procurement - Back to overview

Procurement faces persistent challenges across the board - the effects of the pandemic, staff retention, and the increased costs and availability of products amid dwindling budgets present a never-ending list of hurdles to be navigated. So how does a hospital maintain safety in blood collection while keeping within its budget?

How does a hospital best protect everyone involved in blood collection? The welfare of nurses and patients and the integrity of analysis are the #1 priority for clinicians and patients involved. They will insist on a product that promotes safety. These products may not be the cheapest available, but there are hidden costs to purchasing a less expensive alternative.

What are the risks involved in blood collection?

For nurses, this will mean becoming familiar with a new or substitute product, and that takes time. The risks attached to interrupting the blood collection choreography; the routine of safe and smooth venous blood withdrawal, while also accommodating this new product cannot be underestimated. The occupational hazards associated with drawing blood - injury, infection and contamination, are front and foremost in the minds of healthcare professionals and their patients do not want to be exposed to the risk of infection or injury.

41% of nurses have already suffered a needlestick incident

In an online survey conducted in October 2013 by the European Federation of Nurses Associations, with almost 7000 respondents from the 28 Member States, 41% of the respondents had already suffered a needlestick incident [1] . Needlestick injuries can be very expensive; a follow-up process can cost in the region of thousands of pounds/dollars/euros. But there are more associated costs, such as staff absence, replacement, training and possible liability. So how best to protect them?

Safer products protect staff and increase efficiency

Products that prioritize safety allow nurses to perform efficient choreography due to their design while minimizing the associated risks - essential for patients who are unable to remain still. And a well-rehearsed choreography supports nurses’ confidence in the reliability of the interaction; their calmness and authority settling an agitated or nervous patient, minimizing the risk of harm.

Inferior products risk injury and error in the lab

How do safety products protect accuracy and the welfare of lab technicians? An increase in the volume of blood collection, amid the pressure of retaining trained lab technicians, leads to an increased possibility of error in processing and accuracy - ultimately impacting a patient’s care.

Factoring in the essential quality control measures that a new or inferior product requires also adds to the burden. Consistency has to be relied upon, not to mention the risk of blood spatter and contamination when products are either unfamiliar or simply unavailable. Labs have to be constantly vigilant to the risk of hemolysis in blood samples, which can render samples as void, and an inferior product increases this risk before the samples have even reached the lab.

Peace of mind is a cost benefit

It’s essential that hospital teams can operate in the knowledge that variables are kept to a minimum. Staff need to be able to manage their tasks without distraction in the face of mounting pressures. Safety products support efficiency, minimize error and protect staff and patients, delivering the care that they deserve.

[1] Written questions by Members of the European Parliament and their answers given by a European Union institution. E-014392/13 by Marian Harkin to the Commission. Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission (18 February 2014). Official Journal of the European Union C 275/1, 21.08.2014. Available from: = 1412176568

Safety and value, it’s in our blood

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