Blood test tubes

Core Lab Phlebotomy

About Core Lab Phlebotomy

The Johns Hopkins Core Laboratory phlebotomy team is composed of approximately 70 well-trained phlebotomists, many of whom are nationally certified. This 24/7 team performs approximately 18,000 phlebotomies per month and provides centralized service for the 1,000-bed Johns Hopkins Hospital phlebotomy site.

Our Phlebotomists are an important members of the Johns Hopkins Healthcare Team whose primary function is the collection of peripheral blood samples from patients by venipuncture, fingerstick, or a pediatric heel stick. The phlebotomist's responsibility is the collection of laboratory specimens. We offer around the clock services to our patients to facilitate their needs. Through annual competencies and continuing education the department has helped to improve patient safety and patient care.

To contact phlebotomy command center 24/7, please call 410-502-8300.


Phlebotomy Rounds & Order Release Times

Frequency Scheduled Round Time Release Time
AM Draw 0600 - 1100am
(Transplant Units and Psych at 0500am)
PM Draw 1500 - 2300 1605
Stats Collect Within 60 minutes of scheduled time Immediately
Timed Draws
(Nurse Release)
Collect within 60 minutes of scheduled time Immediately or in accordance
Enterprise Order
Release Times
00:35/ 04.35/
08:05/ 12:05/
16:05/ 20:05

Routine Round

Frequency Scheduled Round Time Release Time
AM Draw 0600 - 1100am
(Transplant Units and Psych at 0500am)
PM Draw 1500 - 2300 1605

Stat Draws

Frequency Scheduled Round Time Release Time
Stats Collect Within 60 minutes of scheduled time Immediately

Timed Draws

Frequency Scheduled Round Time Release Time
Timed Draws
(Nurse Release)
Collect within 60 minutes of scheduled time Immediately or in accordance

  • Timed orders must be placed 1 hour in advance in order to be drawn as requested.
  • Specimen collection will be performed within 1 hour plus or minus of the requested time.

Services to Units

Phlebotomy Rounds

  1. Stat and Timed for Phlebotomy Collection:
    1. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  2. Scheduled Routine Rounds for Phlebotomy Collection:
    1. 06:00 Round (05:00 for Therapeutic Units collection)
    2. 18:00 Round
  3. Phlebotomy Collection draws are ordered by placing orders in POE.

  4. Request for Phlebotomy draw should be specified in POE as Lab Collect.

  5. Phlebotomist are assigned to a specific zone and will collect the specimens as close to the target time as possible based on patient load.

Stat draw requests are available 24/7 on eligible units. Phlebotomy is expected to draw stats within one hour of notification.

Unit Responsibilities Before Specimen Collection

  • Orders for phlebotomy are electronically communicated from the POE system.

  • Orders must be placed for lab collection in any of the available scheduled collection rounds prior to the cutoff time for the specific round.

  • All patients collected on the round must have preregistered orders in the Lab Information System (LIS).

  • Patients without electronic orders cannot be documented in the automated tracking system.

  • In order to prevent delays and tests cancellations unit can help by preparing patients before the start of phlebotomy rounds.
    1. Inform patients to expect phlebotomy.
    2. Review orders to ensure all orders are in, and are under lab collect status.
    3. Check to ensure wristbands are attached to patient and are scannable
    4. Ensure proper signage and supplies are available
    5. Change status to unit collect if patient has central line for specimen collection or to be collected in dialysis
    6. Coordinate other procedures such as PT and dialysis (Change to unit collect is necessary)

Phlebotomy Team Responsibilities

  1. The Phlebotomy Team prints barcoded specimen collection labels at the patient's bedside using Specimen Collection Verification (SCV). Each label displays the patients name, JHH medical record number (Patient ID) and CSN.

  2. The phlebotomist reports to the unit and attempts to collect all lab orders listed on the phlebotomy handheld device. The phlebotomist scans each specimen, then scans the patient wrist band which enters the collection date and time into the automated system.

  3. If there are no lab collect orders communicated to the LIS for a given round location, there is no reason for the phlebotomist to present on the unit for the specified round.

  4. Phlebotomist will review all of the incomplete phlebotomy orders and arrange for redraws if needed.

  5. Unless otherwise communicated by the unit, missed patients will be attempted by another phlebotomist.

  6. Unavailable patients will be attempted when the patient returns.

  7. The nurse will be notified of the Incomplete Collection and documented in the LIS.

  8. Phlebotomist will return to the unit for redraws (as necessary). Exception is a patient refusal.

  9. All other missed requests are attempted a second time.

  10. Successful collection of any outstanding phlebotomy orders will be documented in POE.

  11. Any patient that is missed on the redraw round will have a capillary collection for eligible tests.

  12. The other tests will be cancelled by the charge phlebotomist with nurse notified.

  13. Once cancelled in the LIS, the order status for these requests will update within POE.

Patient Rescheduled Policy

  1. Patient Refusal
    1. When patient refuses to have labs drawn the phlebotomist will report this to the nurse taking care of the patient and the name of the nurse the phlebotomist spoke with will be documented.
    2. If the nurse is not successful convincing the patient to have his/her blood drawn the phlebotomist will confirm with the nurse or provider and the order will be cancelled.

  2. Unable to Obtain
    1. If phlebotomist is unable to obtain the specimen after two attempts due to a difficult venipuncture, the patient's nurse will be informed and phlebotomist will document in the Lab Information System (LIS)
    2. Phlebotomist will inform the nurse that another phlebotomist will attempt to obtain specimen.
    3. If after two attempts the second phlebotomist is unable to obtain the labs, the nurse will be informed and the phlebotomist will document the name of the nurse and the time the phlebotomist spoke with the nurse.
    4. The phlebotomists will then offer to perform a capillary stick for tests ordered that can be obtained via capillary puncture, mainly CBC and CMP.
    5. If the patient agrees to the capillary stick, the collection will be attempted and any tests not collected will be cancelled.

Phlebotomy Education


What other phlebotomy training programs are there?
Both Baltimore City and Baltimore County Community Colleges offer courses. Check within your respective counties also.

Do you have to be certified to perform phlebotomy?
JHMI Department of Pathology does not currently require certification, but it is highly recommended. Phlebotomy is also performed by other healthcare professionals, research assistants, medical and nursing students who may or may not hold other certifications.

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