This paper reports the evaluation of a pilot domiciliary phlebotomy service provided by an old age psychiatry service to enhance the management of patients in their own homes. Clinical and demographic data were collected and the costs of phlebotomy home visits compared with those of ambulance transport.
Of 511 phlebotomy visits made to 307 patients, only 8% were unsuccessful. A subgroup analysis indicated that 70% of patients would have been unable to leave home unaccompanied to attend for venepuncture. The cost of the phlebotomist's travel was comparable with the estimated cost of providing ambulance transport for patients who would have required it.
Domiciliary phlebotomy can be a viable method of performing blood investigations in an old age psychiatry service to support home assessment.
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