Turn Around Time for Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory: A Vital and Effective Parameter for Patient Care BC01-BC04
Dr. Dharmik Savjibhai Patel,
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Pramukhswami Medical College,
Bhaikaka University, Karamsad, Anand-388325, Gujarat, India.
Introduction: Clinical laboratories are judged by its validity, reliability, genuineness or authenticity and its timeliness in reports generating. Repetitively, patients and physicians complain about the time taken by the laboratory for the investigation. The total Turn Around Time (TAT) for laboratory tests includes the entire interval from the order of the test to the awareness of the result by the clinicians. The evaluation and improvement of TAT is crucial for the management of laboratory quality and the satisfaction of patients.
Aim: To observe the TAT of common biochemical investigations, to identify reasons for increased TAT and to formulate a plan to rectify increased TAT.
Materials and Methods: A hospital based cross-sectional study was conducted at the Clinical Biochemistry Section of the Central Diagnostic Laboratory of Tertiary Care Hospital. TAT data from April 2014 to September 2015 were included in the study. The laboratory technicians and the resident doctors of biochemistry recorded the reasons for the delay of those specimens exceeding the TAT. Data were analysed with the help of statistical software Epi Info 7.
Results: The total number of samples received in the biochemistry laboratory were 1,85,658. Out of this, Out Patient Department (OPD) samples were 1,35,022 and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) samples were 50,636. Pre-analytical errors were observed in 670 of ICU samples, which was 1.32% of total samples received and it was higher than the post-analytical errors. In the pre-analytical phase, the most common cause was inaccurate procedures of sample collection.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the main culprit of increased TAT was delay in the sample transportation and Haemolysed samples. TAT minimisation is a constant procedure for any facility. Every laboratory needs to develop a decent approach for reducing the TAT.