Objectives: Pre-analytic errors during diagnostic laboratory investigations can lead to increased patient morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to ascertain the effect of educational nursing activities on the incidence of pre-analytical errors resulting in non-conforming blood samples. Methods: This study was conducted between January 2008 and December 2015. All specimens received at the Haematology Laboratory of the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman, during this period were prospectively collected and analysed. Similar data from 2007 were collected retrospectively and used as a baseline for comparison. Non-conforming samples were defined as either clotted samples, haemolysed samples, use of the wrong anticoagulant, insufficient quantities of blood collected, incorrect/lack of labelling on a sample or lack of delivery of a sample in spite of a sample request. From 2008 onwards, multiple educational training activities directed at the hospital nursing staff and nursing students primarily responsible for blood collection were implemented on a regular basis. Results: After initiating corrective measures in 2008, a progressive reduction in the percentage of non-conforming samples was observed from 2009 onwards. Despite a 127.84% increase in the total number of specimens received, there was a significant reduction in non-conforming samples from 0.29% in 2007 to 0.07% in 2015, resulting in an improvement of 75.86% (P <0.050). In particular, specimen identification errors decreased by 0.056%, with a 96.55% improvement. Conclusion: Targeted educational activities directed primarily towards hospital nursing staff had a positive impact on the quality of laboratory specimens by significantly reducing pre-analytical errors.
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