Using lean management to reduce blood culture contamination

Sinnott PL, Breckenridge JS, Helgerson P, Asch S.
Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2015 Jan;41(1):26-2.
Palo Alto Health Care System, Menlo Park, California, USA

  • Reduce the blood culture contamination rate using Lean management quality improvement methods, including a rapid process improvement workshop to identify root causes of variation in blood culture procedures and countermeasures (potential improvement strategies) to address each problem.
  • The blood culture contamination rate decreased significantly from 4.2% in the 19-month baseline period to 2.8% in the last 12 months of follow-up.
  • An estimated 261 contaminated blood culture were avoided in the follow-up period.

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