Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Mary T. Verklan
Specimen collection and identification errors are a significant problem in healthcare, contributing to incorrect diagnoses, delayed care, lack of essential treatments, patient injury or death, increased length of stay and increased healthcare costs, and decreased patient satisfaction. The purpose of the project was to evaluate the implementation of specimen collection technology with barcode scanning and bedside label printing in the maternal child health division of a community teaching hospital. The project was driven from Donabedian's quality framework for healthcare implementations, indicating that evaluating the quality of health care can be drawn from the categories of structure, process, and outcomes. The project featured a quantitative analysis with a pretest-posttest design. Mislabeled specimen rates and collection turnaround times were generated from laboratory quality data and measured before, during, and after implementation of specimen collection technology. Data analysis using an independent samples t test in SPSS 17.0 compared the changes in the mean scores of specimen collection turnaround times and mislabeled specimen rates. Mislabeled specimen percentages in all areas decreased from 0.0250% preimplementation to 0.0023% postimplementation with a p value less than 0.001. Collection turnaround times greater than 60 minutes decreased following implementation of specimen collection technology by 22% with a p value less than 0.001. The implementation of specimen collection technology has positive implications for social change, including the expectation that as technology is proven to significantly improve the safety and quality of laboratory collections, there will be a mandate for implementation of safer collection processes in healthcare.