Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice: Impact on Emergency Department Blood Culture Contamination : Clinical Nurse Specialist

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Feature Articles

Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice

Impact on Emergency Department Blood Culture Contamination

Burnie, Jeannie MS, APRN, AGCNS-BC, CEN, FAEN, FCNS; Vining, Samantha MSN, RN, FNP-C

Author Information
Clinical Nurse Specialist 35(6):p 314-317, 11/12 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000634



Blood culture collection is a common procedure performed in emergency departments. Rate of blood culture contamination is a metric that is tracked by organizations to ensure appropriate treatment for patients suspected of having bacteremia and ensure appropriate use of hospital resources. A team of nurses and technicians undertook a quality improvement project to decrease blood culture contamination rates in a suburban emergency department.

Description of the Project 

The project included use of standardized blood culture collection kits, creation of a dedicated collection team, and implementation of a new blood culture collection device.


Through this work, blood culture contamination rates decreased from greater than 3.0% to less than 1.5% consistently for nearly 24 months.


Providing feedback and continued monitoring has made this quality improvement initiative a success for the department and the organization and has resulted in cost savings of nearly 2 million dollars.

Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid