Public Health Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING PHLEBOTOMISTS.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Public Health Committee
REASONS FOR BILL:
This bill specifically allows individuals practicing as phlebotomists in the state to obtain phlebotomist certification from the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians, National Center for Competency Testing, or National Phlebotomy Association.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Raul Pino MD, Commissioner, Department of Public Health:
The Department of Public Health supports of the intention of the legislation but cannot certify or license another profession within existing resources. In addition, if current staffs at the health care facilities and laboratories do not meet the certification requirements to provide phlebotomy services, there could be fiscal and staffing implications for these facilities.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Dennis J. Ernst, Executive Director, Center for Phlebotomy Education:
The Center for Phlebotomy Education submitted testimony about the dangers of non-certification for phlebotomists by states. These include over 160,000 adverse patient events occurring every year because of laboratories misidentifying samples and patients as well as 11% of all transfusion deaths happening because the phlebotomist fails to properly identify the patient or sample. Only three states (California, Louisiana and Nevada) require phlebotomists to be certified or licensed.
The following individual supports SB 41 as a means of personal and public safety:
Submitted testimony in support of the bill. Although there is no minimum standard for training and certification, many Connecticut health care organizations do an outstanding job of making sure their employees practicing in the field of phlebotomy acquire the appropriate training and certification.
Mr. Morin outlined permanent injuries (stroke, hemorrhage, seizures, coma, medication errors and organ failure) as some of the negative effects that can occur when phlebotomists practice without formal training and certification.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Richard V. Branigan, Chief Program Officer, American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross submitted testimony expressing concern that the scope for SB 41 is overly broad and could potentially hurt the organization's ability to collect blood in the state in a cost effective manner. The current language in SB 41 directs the Department of Public Health to draft and enforce certification requirements for all phlebotomists but does not actually define whether these requirements apply to all phlebotomists regardless of the type of procedure they are performing and the medical setting in which they are performing it.
Joe Horvath, Assistant Policy Director, Yankee Institute for Public Policy:
The Yankee Institute for Public Policy submitted testimony in opposition to SB 41, stating that the Department of Public Health is already short-staffed and cannot handle what the bill requires. In addition, the state already allows employers to mandate certification themselves and that having the state require certification would be unnecessary.
Reported by: Andres J. Feijoo