Jun 23, 2004

Improving access to diagnostics: an evaluation of a satellite laboratory service in the emergency department

Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ
P LemanF Little

Abstract

To measure the impact of a satellite laboratory upon laboratory result turnaround times and clinical decision making times. A prospective cohort study, the intervention group had blood tests sent Monday to Friday 12 noon to 8 pm and the control group had blood tests sent outside these hours. The data were collected over a six week period before the laboratory was opened, and a subsequent six week period. An urban teaching hospital emergency department. 1065 patients requiring blood tests. Time from the blood sample being sent to the laboratory to the results being available on the clinician's computer. The time to haematology (blood count) results in the intervention group decreased by 47.2 minutes (95% CI 38.3 to 56.1, p<0.001) after the laboratory was opened. The corresponding control group times were unchanged (0.6 minutes; -13.8 to 15.0, p = 0.94). Similar sized differences were also seen for haemostasis (d-dimer) testing 66.1 (41.8 to 90.4) minutes compared with -14.2 (-47.1 to 18.7) and chemistry 41.3 (30.3 to 52.2) compared with -4.2 (-17.4 to 8.9) testing. Decisions to discharge patients were significantly faster (28.2 minutes, 13.5 to 42.8, p<0.0001) in the intervention group after the laboratory was opened (controls; ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Hematology (Discipline)
Action Research
Hematology Procedure
Point-of-Care Systems
Hospital Costs
D-Dimer Measurement
Body Fluids
Blood Cell Count
Body Fluids and Substances
Hematologic Tests

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