This past February, AUA fourth year medical student Wael Kalaji and his research team attended the Society of Critical Care Medicine Congress in San Antonio, Texas, presenting their project, “Centralized vs Decentralized Phlebotomy for Urgent Tests in the ICU: A Randomized Trial.”

The study concluded:

  • Decentralized phlebotomy can reduce collection time by over 50%, and that ICU staff — rather than a centralized phlebotomy — should be considered for urgent ICU tests.
  • Ordering a specimen as “STAT” or “timed” utilizes alternative phlebotomy staff and can increase healthcare costs. The ordering label makes little impact in collecting and processing time, whether done by a phlebotomist or ICU staff.
  • There is no difference in collection time between “STAT” vs “timed” orders, whether by a centralized or decentralized service or whether the collection was via peripheral stick (PS) or from a centrally placed catheter (CPC). Providers should therefore avoid unnecessary STAT tests. In time, this may ultimately improve specimen prioritization.

The project was done in collaboration with the critical care medicine department at Emory University School of Medicine, and was published in the Journal of Critical Care Medicine in January 2018.

Congratulations to Wael and his team, on the success and publication of their study!