Please log in to determine if you are eligible to purchase PT Programs.

Despite advances in blood culture practices and technology, false-positive blood culture results due to contaminants continue to be a critical problem. Blood culture contamination rate, the primary indicator of preanalytic performance in microbiology, is associated with increased length of hospital stay, additional expense, and the administration of unnecessary antibiotics.

The CAP and other accrediting organizations require you to monitor and evaluate key indicators of quality for improvement opportunities. Use this monitor to help meet CAP Laboratory Accreditation Checklist statements note MIC.22630 and MIC.22635: " The laboratory must determine and regularly review the number of contaminated cultures. Tracking the contamination rate and providing feedback to units and persons drawing cultures is one method that has been shown to reduce contamination rates." This will also help laboratories meet The Joint Commission Standard QSA 04.07.01 EP3.


Determine the rate of blood culture contamination using standardized criteria for classifying contaminants.

Data Collection

On a monthly basis, participants will tabulate the total number of blood cultures processed and the total number of contaminated blood cultures. Blood cultures from neonatal patients are tabulated separately. For the purposes of this study, participants will consider a blood culture to be contaminated if they recover Coagulase-negative staphylococci, Micrococcus sp., Alpha-hemolytic (viridans) streptococci, Cutibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium sp. (diphtheroids), or Bacillus sp. from only one of multiple blood culture sets collected. Participants have the option to monitor institution-specific subgroups, for example, a specific department or patient population.

Performance Indicators

  • Neonatal contamination rate (%)
  • Other contamination rate (%)
  • Overall contamination rate (%)

Shipping Schedule

  • Shipment A: December 4, 2023
  • Shipment B: March 11, 2024
  • Shipment C: June 10, 2024
  • Shipment D: September 9, 2024

Additional Information

Participants in this program receive:

  • User Guide
  • Templates and instructions for data collection
  • Quarterly reports that include fingerprint clusters, customer-defined groups, and all institution comparisons
  • Peer directory

Quality Management Tools activities meet the American Board of Pathology MOC Part IV Practice Performance Assessment requirements.

For Comprehensive Collection of Tools, see Quality Management Tools.

Select Q-PROBES and Q-TRACKS studies to support your quality improvement initiatives.
Anatomic Pathology
Clinical Pathology
Turnaround Time
Patient Safety
Transfusion Medicine
Chemistry/ Hematology
Customer Satisfaction
Non-Physician Care Team Satisfaction With Clinical Laboratory Services (QP231)
Technical Competency Assessment of Body Fluid Review (QPB10)
Technical Competency Assessment of Peripheral Blood Smears (QPC10/QPC25)
Technical Competency Assessment of Gram Stains (QPD10/QPD25)
Patient Identification Accuracy (QT1)
Blood Culture Contamination (QT2)
Laboratory Specimen Acceptability (QT3)
In-Date Blood Product Wastage (QT4)
Gynecologic Cytology Outcomes: Biopsy Correlation Performance (QT5)
Satisfaction with Outpatient Specimen Collection (QT7)
Stat Test Turnaround Time Outliers (QT8)
Critical Values Reporting (QT10)
Troponin Turnaround Times (QT15)
Corrected Results (QT16)
Outpatient Order Entry Errors (QT17)

*The CAP requires accredited laboratories to have a quality management plan that covers all areas of the laboratory and includes benchmarking key measures of laboratory performance (GEN.13806, GEN.20316, COM.04000). The Joint Commission requires accredited hospitals to regularly collect and analyze performance data (PI.01.01.01, PI.02.01.01). CLIA requires laboratories to monitor, assess, and correct problems identified in preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic systems (§493.1249, §493.1289, §493.1299).

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought