Impact of a satellite laboratory on turnaround times for the emergency department : Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine

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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R. / Tsongalis, Gregory J.


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Impact of a satellite laboratory on turnaround times for the emergency department

Gurdeep Dhatt1 / Joseph Manna2 / Bassam Bishawi3 / Diane Chetty4 / Ahlam Al Sheiban5 / David James6

1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Tawam Hospital in association with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

2Department of Emergency Medicine, Tawam Hospital in association with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

3Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Tawam Hospital in association with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

4Department of Emergency Medicine, Tawam Hospital in association with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

5Department of Quality Management, Tawam Hospital in association with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

6Clinical Services, Tawam Hospital in association with Johns Hopkins Medicine, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Corresponding author: Dr. G.S. Dhatt, Department of Pathology, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Phone: +971-3-707-2417, Fax: +971-3-707-2418,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 46, Issue 10, Pages 1464–1467, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2008.290, October 2008

Publication History

Received:
2008-01-17
Accepted:
2008-07-02

Abstract

Background: Prolonged laboratory turnaround time (TAT) contributes to prolonged length of stay in emergency departments (EDs). The TAT of laboratory test results is a common key performance indicator by which clinicians and regulatory bodies evaluate laboratory performance. Establishing satellite laboratories in EDs staffed by laboratory technologists is one approach towards reducing TAT.

Methods: TAT data were collected for three time intervals: (a) sampling time to time samples received in the laboratory (transportation time), (b) sample received in the laboratory until results were available for viewing on the laboratory information system monitor or collection by ED staff (within laboratory TAT), and (c) sampling to availability of results (total TAT, e.g., a+b). The target was to achieve a median within laboratory TAT of 45 min for samples received from the ED.

Results: The median transportation times for samples to be delivered to the central and satellite laboratory were 22 min and 1 min, respectively (p<0.0001). The median within laboratory TATs were 45 [95% confidence interval (CI) 43–49] and 34 (95% CI 33–35) min for the central and satellite laboratories, respectively (p<0.001).

Conclusions: A satellite laboratory in the ED can significantly reduce laboratory TAT.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2008;46:1464–7.

Keywords: emergency department; laboratory; satellite; turnaround times

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