Reducing Canceled Labs Related to Specimen Integrity in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Quality Improvement Initiative

Expiration date: August 17, 2024

Video length: 38:00


Reducing multiple redraws in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a constant goal for laboratory and nursing staff caring for neonatal patients. Frequent cancellation of labs following specimen collection due to issues with specimen integrity results in increased blood waste, painful procedures, and ultimately, a delayed treatment. 

This presentation will walk learners through the quality improvement methodology and describe PDSA cycle interventions that were implemented in this unit, which successfully reduced the amount of canceled labs due to specimen integrity.  


Paola Ramos, Ph.D.

Clinical Chemistry 
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Abby Streeton, APRN, CNS, M.S.N. 

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Department of Nursing 
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Julie Lunde, M.S.N., R.N.

Nursing Education Specialist 
Department of Nursing 
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Identify common reasons for canceled labs due to specimen integrity in the NICU setting.
  • Describe interventions that can help to decrease canceled labs due to specimen integrity.
  • Summarize the importance of inversion technique in preventing canceled labs due to specimen integrity.

Intended audience

This series is appropriate for phlebotomists, phlebotomy managers, phlebotomy educators, and other patient care staff involved in specimen collection.


The following types of credit are offered for this event:


Mayo Clinic Laboratories is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® program. This program has been approved for a maximum of .5 P.A.C.E.® contact hour.

To obtain credit

1. Watch the video.

2. Complete the posttest and evaluation that launches immediately following the video.

3. Generate and print your certificate(s).

Level of instruction for this program is basic.

Faculty disclosure

Course director(s), planning committee, faculty, and all others who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest related to the subject matter of the educational activity. Safeguards against commercial bias have been put in place. Faculty members also will disclose any off-label and/or investigational use of pharmaceuticals or instruments discussed in their presentations. Disclosure of this information will be published in course materials so those participants in the activity may formulate their own judgments regarding the presentations.


Contact us:

MCL Education

This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.