Kerri Gambrel, Pamela Duncan; Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lakeland, FL

Blood culture contamination represents an ongoing source of frustration for clinicians. Ambiguous results can lead to increased cost, inappropriate therapy, and extended length of stay. The national average contamination rate is 3% with an average cost of $5000 per contamination. The purpose of this project was to explore the question, “What innovations in knowledge and techniques in our current blood culture collection process could we as registered nurses implement to improve outcomes?”

After literature and policy review, staff members discussed the effect of blood culture contamination. Emphasis was placed on hand washing and following the steps exactly as prescribed in the blood culture collection policy (no omissions or shortcuts), treating the procedure as a “sterile procedure” with emphasis on setup and masking for the procedure, and follow-up with every nurse who was involved...

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