BEST PRACTICES

3% means you’ve hit the board.
Now, aim for a sub-1% contamination rate.

In 2005, CAP reported information from 356 institutions regarding their rates of contaminated blood cultures. The average contamination rate was found to be approximately 3%.1

The 3% average was adopted as a performance benchmark in 2007 when the Clinical and laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) included the “3% maximum blood culture contamination rate” in their guidelines.2

Today, blood culture contamination rates differ widely between institutions, frequently exceeding 3%.3,4

At 3% the benchmark misses the mark

  • Nearly one-third of positive results are wrong.
  • More than 1 Million patients are placed at risk by a false positive result each year.

Research supports narrowing the target to a sub-1% blood culture contamination rate.