Turn Around Time (TAT) as a Benchmark of Laboratory Performance
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Laboratory analytical turnaround time is a reliable indicator of laboratory effectiveness. Our study aimed to evaluate laboratory analytical turnaround time in our laboratory and appraise the contribution of the different phases of analysis towards the same. The turn around time (TAT) for all the samples (both routine and emergency) for the outpatient and hospitalized patients were evaluated for one year. TAT was calculated from sample reception to report dispatch. The average TAT for the clinical biochemistry samples was 5.5 h for routine inpatient samples while the TAT for the outpatient samples was 24 h. The turnaround time for stat samples was 1 h. Pre- and Post-analytical phases were found to contribute approximately 75% to the total TAT. The TAT demonstrates the need for improvement in the pre- and post-analytical periods. We need to tread the middle path to perform optimally according to clinician expectations.
KeywordsTurn around time Pre analytical Analytical Post analytical Laboratory