Every lab knows that their colleagues in medicine see turnaround time (TAT) as something almost as important as the quality of test results themselves. In fact, surveys have found that 80% of labs get complaints about TAT. However, TAT can mean much more than just keeping physicians happy.
On the same day patients arrive for a chemotherapy infusion—up to 80 a
day—oncologists routinely order complete blood counts (CBC) and
comprehensive metabolic panels (CPNL) to discern whether the patient is
healthy enough for treatment. Chemotherapy drugs are so toxic that they
can destroy red blood cells and damage the liver and kidneys.
After studying the problem and tracking the exact path of samples, lab team came up with a plan that reduced the median
collection-to-result turnaround time for CBCs from 50 minutes to 20, and
for CPNLs from 74 minutes to 54.
What Does Turnaround Time Say About Your Lab?