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Stuebing EA, Miner TJ. Surgical Vampires and Rising Health Care Expenditure: Reducing the Cost of Daily Phlebotomy. Arch Surg. 2011;146(5):524–527. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.103
To determine whether simply being made continually aware of the hospital costs of daily phlebotomy would reduce the amount of phlebotomy ordered for nonintensive care unit surgical patients.
Prospective observational study.
Tertiary care hospital in an urban setting.
All nonintensive care unit patients on 3 general surgical services.
A weekly announcement to surgical house staff and attending physicians of the dollar amount charged to nonintensive care unit patients for laboratory services during the previous week.
Main Outcome Measure
Dollars charged per patient per day for routine blood work.
At baseline, the charges for daily phlebotomy were $147.73/patient/d. After 11 weeks of residents being made aware of the daily charges for phlebotomy, the charges dropped as low as $108.11/patient/d. This had a correlation coefficient of −0.76 and significance of P = .002. Over 11 weeks of intervention, the dollar amount saved was $54 967.
Health care providers being made aware of the cost of phlebotomy can decrease the amount of these tests ordered and result in significant savings for the hospital.
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