In   order   to   achieve   the   highest   quality of   patient   care, laboratory   must   define   reasonable STAT (Emergency) turnaround times for all testing. Turn around Time (TAT) is used to determine a laboratory’s efficiency in producing its specimen results. Strictly adhered to in all laboratories, it is one of the key performance indicators measured.

TAT is the time taken for a sample to be analyzed refers to the time a sample is collected in the laboratory until the time of reporting results. Faster TAT is universally seen as desirable, as the timely and rapidly a test is performed, the more efficient and effective will be the treatment. This in turn saves time and money for the patient, as well as the hospital.

It can be a useful tool in determining if there is a problem on a specific shift with specific tests. Turn-Around-Times are monitored in the lab by way of any complaints or issues that might come up about the timeliness of  reporting results. Any issue that is brought   up   is   investigated and documented in Laboratory Performance Improvement reports.

The average turn-around-time from order of  STAT( Emergency)  laboratory tests  to  draw  is  30  minutes. This is monitored each month by pulling stat TAT reports and specific tests ordered in the Emergency Room.

The following TAT is from time of sample collection in lab to delivery of results.

  • for all components of the CBC, the general turnaround time is 30 minutes.
  • for all components of a urinalysis, the general turnaround time is 30 minutes.
  • for all coagulation tests, the general turnaround time is 30-45 minutes.
  • for compatibility testing, the general turnaround time is 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • for serology testing, the general turnaround time is 60 minutes.
  • for general chemistry tests, the general turnaround time is 60 minutes.
  • For CSF cell count and chemistry, the general turnaround time is 90 minutes.
  • For CSF gram stain, the general turnaround time is 90 minutes.
  • for immunoassay chemistry tests the general turnaround time is 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes.
  • All Defined Laboratory STAT turnaround   times   are   reasonable,   but   always   subject   to   problems or workloads at the time. If testing is ordered as stat,   results are reported as soon as possible. Most Emergency Room (ER’s) with many tests ordered is reported within 1 hour, depending on orders and circumstances.

Laboratory Turn-Around times for STAT (Emergency) testing   are   monitored   on   a   continual basis by the Laboratory Administration. This is monitored by way of   complaints or issues that come up during testing. Any issues during time frame are documented in Laboratory Performance Improvement. The time is pulled from the computer and monitored on a monthly   basis. Also percentage acceptable times are calculated and monitored on certain tests ordered in the Emergency Room. The goal is >90% acceptable on time from order to draw and from receipt to verify.

  LAB TEST TURNAROUND TIME
1 FULL HAEMOGRAM 30 MINS
2 HIV TESTING 20 MINS
3 MALARIA TEST 20 MINS
4 WIDAL TEST 30 MINS
5 BRUCELLA TEST 30 MINS
6 VDRL TEST 10-20 MINS (depending on the specimen used)
7 RHEUMATOID FACTOR TEST 30 MINS
8 URINALYSIS 15 MINS
9 STOOL FOR O/C 20 MINS
10 RBS / FBS INSTANT
11 H.PYLORI IGG TEST 20 MINS
12 H.PYLORI AG TEST 20 MINS
13 SALMONELLA AG TEST 20 MINS
14 SALMONELLA IGG TEST 20 MINS
15 HBSAG TEST 20 MINS
16 HCV TEST 20 MINS
17 OCCULT BLOOD TEST 20 MINS
18 PREGNANCY TEST 20 MINS
19 ABO BLOOD GROUPING 10 MINS
20 ESR 60 MINS
21 URIC ACID TEST 30 MINS
22 LIPID PROFILE 90 MINS
23 LIVER FUNCTION TESTS(LFTs) 180 MINS
24 RENAL FUNCTION TESTS(U/E/C) 120 MINS
25 ASOT TEST 30 MINS
26 C-REACTIVE PROTEIN (CRP) 30 MINS