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1.  Improving phlebotomy handover to doctors: a quality improvement project 
BMJ Quality Improvement Reports  2014;3(1):u204813.w2033.
AIM: To design a hospital-standardised phlebotomy handover method to improve the communication between phlebotomists and doctors. To reduce delays in patient management and discharges which occur due to poor handover.
METHOD: Qualitative data was collected to gauge junior doctors’ experiences of the current handover process. Quantitative data was collected over a two-week period across two medical wards to measure the proportion of requested bloods that could not be taken by phlebotomists that were successfully handed over to doctors. Brainstorming sessions were held with junior doctors, phlebotomists and ward staff in order to design a, cheap, effective, sustainable, hospital-wide method of handover. The chosen intervention was a red ward-based phlebotomy handover folder for phlebotomists to place stickers of unbled patients in. The folder was trialled on two medical wards. Feedback obtained helped improve the intervention before implementing it hospital-wide.
RESULTS: Seventeen of 23 junior doctors (74%) felt that a formalised handover process would be very useful. Baseline measurement over two weeks revealed that 24/129 blood tests ordered for phlebotomists to take were not taken. Only three (13%) of these were handed over to doctors. Post-intervention, 18/106 blood tests requested were not taken. All 18 (100%) were successfully handed over to doctors.
CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a hospital-standardised phlebotomy handover folder dramatically improved the communication and handover between phlebotomists and doctors allowing for medical teams to take prompt action on unbled patients. This intervention will help improve patient safety, reduce delays in management/discharge and reduce the number of jobs handed over to evening on-call teams.
PMCID: PMC4645808  PMID: 26734270
2.  The estimated prevalence and incidence of late stage age related macular degeneration in the UK 
UK estimates of age related macular degeneration (AMD) occurrence vary.
To estimate prevalence, number and incidence of AMD by type in the UK population aged ≥50 years.
Age-specific prevalence rates of AMD obtained from a Bayesian meta-analysis of AMD prevalence were applied to UK 2007–2009 population data. Incidence was estimated from modelled age-specific prevalence.
Overall prevalence of late AMD was 2.4% (95% credible interval (CrI) 1.7% to 3.3%), equivalent to 513 000 cases (95% CrI 363 000 to 699 000); estimated to increase to 679 000 cases by 2020. Prevalences were 4.8% aged ≥65 years, 12.2% aged ≥80 years. Geographical atrophy (GA) prevalence rates were 1.3% (95% CrI 0.9% to 1.9%), 2.6% (95% CrI 1.8% to 3.7%) and 6.7% (95% CrI 4.6% to 9.6%); neovascular AMD (NVAMD) 1.2% (95% CrI 0.9% to 1.7%), 2.5% (95% CrI 1.8% to 3.4%) and 6.3% (95% CrI 4.5% to 8.6%), respectively. The estimated number of prevalent cases of late AMD were 60% higher in women versus men (314 000 cases in women, 192 000 men). Annual incidence of late AMD, GA and NVAMD per 1000 women was 4.1 (95% CrI 2.4% to 6.8%), 2.4 (95% CrI 1.5% to 3.9%) and 2.3 (95% CrI 1.4% to 4.0%); in men 2.6 (95% CrI 1.5% to 4.4%), 1.7 (95% CrI 1.0% to 2.8%) and 1.4 (95% CrI 0.8% to 2.4%), respectively. 71 000 new cases of late AMD were estimated per year.
These estimates will guide health and social service provision for those with late AMD and enable estimation of the cost of introducing new treatments.
PMCID: PMC3329633  PMID: 22329913
Prevalence; incidence; AMD; UK; epidemiology; clinical trial

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