Document Type



Pathology and Microbiology



Objective: To evaluate the delay and reasons of delay of turnaround time (TAT) of stat tests in the section of clinical chemistry of the clinical laboratory. Setting: Clinical Laboratory, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. Patients and Methods: In our study turn around time (TAT) of stat tests were analyzed. Turn around time was specified as the time from receipt of the sample till the final verification of results (sample receipt time to result verification time). Delays were categorized into 15 minutes, 16-30 minutes, 31 to 60 minutes and >60 minutes. It was also noted as to which time of the day was delay in reporting stat results occurred. Reasons for the delay were also looked ihto. Results: Total 20079 stat samples were received from August 2001 till October 2001. Four hundred eight (2.03%) samples were reported after the acceptable turnaround time. Cumulative analysis of the excess TAT of stat tests showed that 0-15 minutes delay was noted in 68 (16.7%) samples, 16-30 minutes delay in 80(19.6%) samples, 31-60 minutes delay in 76 (18.6%) samples and more than 60 minutes delay in 185 (45.3%) of samples. Most of the delay in reporting of stat test in three months time was surprisingly noted in the morning shift. Overall delay in reporting in morning shift was found to be of 242 (59.3 %) samples. In the evening and night shift 83 (20.3%) and 82 (20.1%) samples respectively were found to be delayed. Reasons for delay in TAT were as follows: n = 163 (40%) due to machine breakdown, n=147(36 %) due to delay in the maintenance of analyzers, n=73 (18 %) due to overlook of the staff during shift change (e.g. night shift to morning shift) and n= 25 (6%) due to computer shutdown. Conclusion: We conclude that most of the delay in TAT of stat tests in our laboratory occurred for more than 60 minutes and was frequently seen in the morning shift. It was also noticed that machine breakdown was the most common reason for this delay. Regular audit of such data helps in the evaluation of the efficiency of the laboratory and hence corrective measures taken accordingly would be helpful in providing better service to the physicians and patients (JPMA 53:65;2003).


Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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