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Editor's Note
January 2017

Let’s Get Another Tube—Just in Case

JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(1):130. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7300

This research letter1 from the University of Iowa demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of “extra” blood tubes have been collected from patients for possible “add-on” tests that are rarely done, and we are sure that the University of Iowa is not the only institution to do so. As a routine practice, we believe collecting extra blood for possible future testing is not patient-centered and is inefficient and potentially harmful. Thankfully, over the past few years at the University of Iowa, and likely most medical centers, this practice has decreased markedly, especially with the widespread use of electronic ordering. However, we thought this example could spur us all to think of other dramatic improvements we could make by recognizing inefficiencies and instituting simple process changes, such as this one to reduce the collection of extra blood tubes.

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Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
Humble  RM, Hounkponou  HG, Krasowski  MD.  The “rainbow” of extra blood tubes—useful or wasteful practice?  [published online November 7, 2016].  JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6834Google Scholar
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