May 28, 2004

Continuous monitoring of stat and routine outlier turnaround times: two College of American Pathologists Q-Tracks monitors in 291 hospitals

Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
David A NovisCollege of American Pathologists Q-Tracks


The laboratory test turnaround times (TATs) that exceed the expectations of clinicians who order those tests, the so-called outlier test reporting rates, may be responsible for perceptions of inadequate laboratory service. To monitor outlier test reporting rates for emergency department stat potassium results and routine inpatient morning blood tests. In 2 different monitors, each conducted for 2 years, laboratory personnel in institutions enrolled in the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Q-Tracks program tracked the percentages of emergency department stat potassium results and/or the percentages of morning rounds routine test results that were reported later than self-imposed reporting deadlines. A total of 291 hospitals participating in 2 CAP Q-Tracks monitors. Participants monitored 225,140 stat emergency department potassium TATs, of which 33,402 (14.8%) were outliers, and 1,055040 routine morning test reporting times, of which 123,554 (11.7%) were outliers. For both monitors, there was a significant (P <.05) downward trend in the outlier rates as the number of quarters in which participants submitted data increased. Outlier reporting rates for emergency department stat potassium and routine morning test results decre...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Laboratory Procedures
Hemorrhagic Fever, American
Hematologic Tests
Potassium supplement
Accident and Emergency Department
Potassium Measurement
Laboratory Diagnosis

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