January 2014

Emerging changes and Innovations Redefine Phlebotomy

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Neeraj Raghuvanshi, Business Director, Preanalytical System business at BD Diagnostics, in conversation with Shahid Akhter, ENN, shares the risks and solutions in Phlebotomy

Phlebotomy is laden with risks – both for patients and health workers. There are chances of blood borne infection, contamination of specimen which can lead to misdiagnosis. How does BD play a role in upgrading the practices by way of innovation in products and devices ? Any other BD initiative to curtail the unsafe practices ?
Since the invention of evacuated blood collection system date about 60 years back, BD has advanced the science of specimen collection. In todays evidence based healthcare delivery system, up to 70 percent of all medical decisions are based on laboratory results. In order to generate reliable and consistent results, laboratories need to ensure good specimen quality “ that is achieved through standardized blood collection devices – this is offered through BD Vacutainer range of products. Besides, since blood filled needles have been known to be much more infectious than the sharps used for other purposes, it is critical that the healthcare workers are protected from needle stick injuries. BD introduced several safety products that ensure minimized exposure to the healthcare workers after the needle has been withdrawn from the patient.Besides the availability of quality devices, it is critical that healthcare workers are regularly trained on best practices guidelines as well use of new methodologies. During the last ten years, BD in India has put tremendous efforts towards increasing the awareness of laboratory personnel in better and safer blood collection practices. Every year BD India conducts training programs for close to 10000 healthcare workers in a year on best practices in blood collection.

The way specimens are collected and by the time it reaches the lab for analysis, is there any chance of spoilage of the sample leading to wrong diagnosis?
Yes, specimen collection method as well as transportation and handling of specimen could have impact on the specimen quality and compromised laboratory results. While the use of quality products like BD Vacutainer helps the laboratory to reduce errors related to the devices, quality practices and processes play a key role in ensuring that good quality samples reach the laboratory. BD has been supporting the laboratories on all these aspects through training as well as process improvement engagements such as May I Help You programs that help labs to assess the gaps in practices / processes and improve upon them.

Improper and unsafe (blood collection) practices coupled with the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (e.g. HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C etc.) increase the risk of exposure of healthcare workers to these blood borne pathogens. How do you address this problem ?
As mentioned above, blood filled needles used for blood collection pose a greater risk of infection to healthcare workers than any other sharps injuries. BD has designed several safety devices in the last few years which help the users to activate specially designed safety-mechanism to protect them against needle stick injury. Besides these, use of puncture proof sharps containers and safe disposal practices would result in safer environment for healthcare workers.

BD introduced several safetyproducts that ensure minimized exposure to the healthcare workers after the needle has been withdrawn from the patient. During the last ten years, BD in India has put tremendous efforts towards increasing the awareness of laboratory personnel in better and safer blood collection practices 

Recently concluded CAP alliance is likely to impact and improve the Indian path lab landscape. Can you please summarise the scenario?
Laboratories play a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of disease for the more than 2.5 billion people who live in China and India. The BD/ CAP Strategic Alliance will improve access to external quality assurance/ proficiency testing (PT) that can have a direct and positive impact on laboratory quality, and therefore, patient outcomes. Together BD and CAP will provide education to improve awareness of global practice standards and training that will help laboratories achieve their quality improvement goals. Additionally, BD will manage PT distribution, including sales, shipping, and first-line client service.
This historic initiative brings together two of the leading global organizations that are ideally positioned to support laboratory improvement efforts around the world, particularly in India. BD offers extensive reach across the continuum of healthcare and laboratory testing operations, with a deep understanding of quality processes from both a technical and clinical perspective.
CAP is the recognized leader in establishing quality pathology and laboratory standards and practices, and developing tools to guide and monitor lab progress on improving quality. Through this alliance BD and CAP will collaborate on providing laboratory quality improvement education that supports the entire spectrum of laboratory processes and procedures” from pre- to post-analytic requirements.
The CAP/BD alliance integrates BDs unique market reach and understanding and solutions that reduce pre-analytic error with CAPs comprehensive quality improvement standards to bring more educational solutions that help labs accelerate their quality improvement. CAP and BD will collaborate to bring more innovative solutions to help laboratories achieve their goals of improved quality for better patient care, and global recognition and local differentiation for these efforts.

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