Guidance for Intermittent Critical staffing shortages in phlebotomy

The following guidance is to be used when the phlebotomy unit is experiencing intermittent critical staffing shortages that affect service levels for adult and pediatric inpatient care. Ongoing efforts to increase the resources available are in process, with a goal to return to stable service levels as soon as possible. In the meantime, it is necessary to modify our daily processes in order to optimize available phlebotomy resources.


When significant delays are expected for routine blood draw priority will be given to urgent, STAT and time-critical blood draws needed to make immediate clinical decisions.

Here’s what you can do immediately:

  • Do not convert routine orders to STAT or time-critical draws.
  • Consider consolidation of daily lab orders to improve efficiency, minimize resources used and improve patient satisfaction with fewer blood draws.
    • Remove duplicate test orders to avoid unnecessary blood draws.
    • Avoid testing too frequently/extend time intervals between tests when appropriate.
    • Reduce routine blood draw orders where possible.
  • Consider “add-on” testing orders in MiChart if previously collected specimens are available.
  • Limit pages to phlebotomy for critical issues only. If a return call is expected, please include a number in the page.

Code blue support

Back-up assistance for CODE Blue specimen transport will not be available. The Rapid Response Team (RRT) will manage transport to the laboratory per normal operations.

Intensive care unit requests

Please page 8079 for Adult Hospitals and 35428 for Children and Women’s.   If a response is not received, please page 37443 for the Phlebotomy Admin on-call.

The Department of Pathology team is working with partners to actively recruit, train and retain staff to address workforce service levels. A weekly update will be provided.

If you have questions, ideas or new phlebotomy employee referrals, please contact:

  • Riccardo Valdez, Clinical Pathology Medical Director
  • Kristina Martin, Clinical Pathology Operations Director

Communication Escalation Pathway for all Inpatient Phlebotomy Services: 


Monday 0600-Friday 1800   Friday 1800-Monday 0600
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Current Outpatient Phlebotomy Staffing Status:

Green-No delays expected

Due to staffing shortages, low patient volume blood draw stations have retracted phlebotomy services until staffing levels of trained personnel return to sustainable levels.  Please click the link below for a listing of Blood Draw station hours of operation.

Overview of Services

The Phlebotomy Services group facilitates venipuncture for Michigan Medicine and MLab patients.  Additionally, outpatient blood draw stations function as drop-off locations for specimens that are collected at the patient’s home. Some blood draw stations have point-of-care testing capabilities.

Interested in becoming a phlebotomist? 

Check out our Careers website for a listing of available openings. Sign-on bonus is eligible for new employees.  Referral bonuses also apply to phlebotomy positions for existing employees who refer candidates.