Background: For blood, most 24/7 standard (immuno)chemistry parameters are either measured in serum or in lithium heparin plasma. Standard serum and plasma gel tubes have their shortcomings when timely analysis of high quality results is required. Serum requires clotting time and interference of gel globules in the plasma and adsorption of hydrophobic analytes into the gel layer potentially compromises high quality results from lithium heparin gel tubes. We sought to evaluate the impact of BD Vacutainer® Barricor™ Tube (Barricor™) on laboratory efficiency by measuring its effect on TAT and sample quality, as well as evaluate potential cost opportunities resulting from improved sample quality. Methods: TAT data and remediation activities were extracted and captured during two 6 months phases. Serum was used as the predominant matrix in the first phase and Barricor™ plasma was used in the second phase. Results: Barricor™ significantly reduced the median TAT, especially for routine-priority samples during peak-hours. The TAT key-performance-indicator (percentage of results available within 90 ​min) improved to >90% for STAT as well as routine priority samples. Converting from serum gel, Barricor™ reduced fibrin-related remediation activities from 2.3% to 0.4%. This resulted in remediation-related cost reduction of €6.010,47 over the study period. Conclusions: By implementing Barricor™, we saw a significant reduction in TAT and a reduction in fibrin-related remediation time and costs, when compared to a predominant serum workflow. The improved TAT opens up the possibility of consolidating to one single priority level, eliminating the need for the use of the STAT priority level.

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Keywords BD barricor, Lithium heparin plasma, Remediation, Serum, Turn-around-time
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Journal Practical Laboratory Medicine
Ramakers, C.R.B, Meyer, B. (Brendan), Yang, W. (Wanfei), Plokhoy, E. (Elizabeth), Xiong, Y. (Yan), Church, S. (Stephen), & Kaushik, N. (Nitin). (2020). Switching from serum to plasma: Implementation of BD Vacutainer® Barricor™ Plasma Blood Collection Tubes improves sample quality and laboratory turnaround time. Practical Laboratory Medicine, 18. doi:10.1016/j.plabm.2019.e00149