(HealthDay News) – Introduction of a standardized sterile collection process for blood cultures can reduce peripheral blood culture contamination rates and hospital charges, according to research published online Dec. 3 in Pediatrics.

Randon T. Hall, MD, from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, and colleagues designed a sterile blood culture collection process for use in the pediatric emergency department, information about which they disseminated using a Web-based educational model. All members of the nursing staff were subsequently expected to use the modified sterile technique to perform peripheral blood cultures.

The researchers found that, during the intervention period, the peripheral blood culture contamination rate dropped significantly, from 3.9% at baseline to 1.6%. This was accompanied by estimated yearly savings of about $250,000 in hospital charges.

“Blood culture collection via a standardized intravenous catheterization process performed by using sterile technique was effective in reducing peripheral blood culture contamination rates and unnecessary utilization of resources,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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