INTRODUCTION: Accuracy, precision, timeliness and authenticity are the four pillars of efficient laboratory services. Clinical biochemists generally overlook timeliness as an important attribute. However, turn around time (TAT), is usually expressed by clinicians as the benchmark of laboratory performance. TAT can be classified by tests; priority; population served etc. The aim of the current study is to both evaluate and compare TATs of the test panels used in the emergency laboratory of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
METHODS: Turn around times for the tests carried out in the emergency laboratory in the year of 2016 were recorded. TAT limits for each analyte was determined by the hospitals quality control department. Routine biochemistry, arterial blood gas, troponine, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), complete blood count (CBC), β-hCG, coagulation panel and urinanalysis tests were evaluated.. Samples were grouped in terms of admission time; day and staff on duty. Samples that exceeded the TAT limits were determined and compared in terms of sample receipt time, day and staff. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 15.0 statistical package programme. p<0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
RESULTS: Total number of 286.577 samples were studied in the year of 2016. TAT of 30129 samples exceeded the limits. Mean TAT time of staff who worked in day shift in weekdays were significantly higher than other staffs; except for arterial blood gas. (p: 0.000; for all panels). Mean TAT time of staffs who worked in night shift in weekdays and weekends were statistically different; except for coagulation (p: 0.08) and arterial blood gas (p: 0.09) tests.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: It is strongly recommended that all staff who works in the laboratory should be sufficiently informed and educated about turn around times. Additionally, we also believe that; evaluation of TAT should be taken into consideration of routine workflow of laboratories.