Taking the Work Out of Blood Work: A Provider's Guide

Gathering Information Before the Visit

Contact families prior to the visit.

Routine clinic procedures like venipuncture can often be anticipated by practitioners. Planning and information sharing to prepare for these procedures would ideally start before the patient arrives at the clinic. Talk with parents about accommodations that your clinic can provide to make the clinic visit a success. The parent may have comments on which strategies are more or less likely to be successful. Past experiences that were positive or negative are worth discussing with parents. The parents may also wish to be informed of the steps that a clinic has planned to help make the procedure a success. You may want to provide families with a packet of patient information on preparing for venipuncture in patients with ASD. It may be beneficial for all staff members involved in these procedures to be familiar with the information and strategies. A phone call or a written questionnaire may be the best way to gather patient-specific information. We have provided a brief questionnaire with potential questions as an example (see Triage Questionnaire for Routine Clinic Procedures (pdf)). Such a questionnaire can be used as a script for telephone triage, mailed to patients prior to the visit, or completed in the waiting room. A questionnaire can be used to improve the care for an individual patient or as a part of a quality improvement initiative to improve the performance of a clinic.