Before the pandemic, patients would meet their physician for medical diagnosis and routine check-ups. After getting prescription for tests, they would visit a lab for providing them samples for tests and they would provide reports on these samples. However, online and on phone appointments have become the new normal these days. Not only hospitals and healthcare facilities have reached their saturation point but each time patients make an onsite visit, it substantially increases their chances of getting infected by corona. Healthcare institutes have changed their traditional methods to incorporate safer procedures for blood sample collection services.
At the moment, patients can get their tests done through by calling home service phlebotomist or do a self-managed sample collection. Both of them offer benefits which are discussed below:
Pros of Opting for Home Service Phlebotomist
Different labs offer blood sample collection at home facility. When a patient is unable to visit labs due to his/her condition, lab sends a phlebotomist to their home for collecting samples for tests. Patient makes an appointment through their website or phone number and the home service phlebotomist will visit their home at the scheduled time. The lab technician follows all the protocols for drawing samples to safely transporting them to the lab for generating test reports.
Obtaining services of phlebotomist at home is best for patients who are elderly, suffering from chronic conditions or having mobility challenges. This type of services is also convenient for nursing facilities or healthcare units as they often face problems in taking their residents to labs for sample collection. Additionally, patients having a busy routine or access issues can also take advantage of in-home phlebotomist services.
Wet Blood Collection: When patients opt for home service phlebotomist, he/she will directly draw blood from their veins by using venepuncture. This traditional approach is best for collecting wet blood sample. It is usually applied when physician has prescribed a complete blood panel.
Removes Need of Waiting: Patients can provide their sample in the comfort of their home and at time which is most suitable for them. This method removes the hassle of waiting and exposure to other diseases.
Flexible Timings: In-home phlebotomy services allows patients to schedule their appointment as per their convenience. This feature is particularly handy for residents at healthcare facilities as they have strict schedule to follow.
Eliminates Need of In-person Visits: Patients do not have to visit the lab so it almost eliminates the need of using transportation. Lab technician uses own transportation vehicle to visit patients’ home.
Pros of Self-Managed Blood Collection
Quite recently, healthcare departments have initiated self-managed blood collection procedures for patients. The most effective technique available is VAMS® method. It is basically volumetric absorptive microsampling. In this method, patient has to use a finger-stick procedure to collect sample of one or two drops from fingertips. The resultant blood is absorbed on Mitra® device. This device is used in combination with VAMS to provide exact blood sample for getting test results.
Dry Blood Sample Collection: Self-managed sample collection uses dry blood sample. It is vital for sample stability and its hassle-free transportation. Labs are equipped to process this sample for analysis. Wet blood sample requires great care in storage and transportation to labs.
Less Invasive Procedure: As compared to venepuncture, this method is less invasive. Self-managed test kits come with lancets which are handy in pricking fingertip for collection sample. This process minimizes anxiety and discomfort as its quick and needs minimal preparation.
Less Risk of Contamination: Dry sample collection eliminates the need of special storage protocols and reduces the risk of contamination. Such samples remain stable in uncertain conditions such as hot temperatures and humidity.
Home service phlebotomist is the most accurate procedure. First of all lab technicians are highly trained and skilled individuals. They know all the storage and transportation protocols. Also, they come equipped with all the necessary tools for the safety of your sample. Patients without having any knowledge of lab techniques are not suitable for collecting their own blood. This procedure should be used as a last resort.