Advances in instrument technology and automation have simplified tasks in laboratory diagnostics reducing errors during analysis thereby improving the quality of test results. However studies show that most laboratory errors occur in the pre-analytical phase. In view of the paucity of studies examining pre-analytical errors, we examined a total of 1513 request forms received at our laboratory during a 3 month period. The forms were scrutinized for the presence of specific parameters to assess the pre-analytical errors affecting the laboratory results. No diagnosis was provided on 61.20% of forms. Type of specimen was not mentioned in 61.60% of the forms and 89.25% of all forms were illegible. Critical results were encountered in 17.30% of patients, and of these 76.60% were not communicated due to incomplete forms. Thus, by following standard operating procedures vigorously from patient preparation to sample processing the laboratory results can be significantly improved without any extra cost.
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Chhillar, N., Khurana, S., Agarwal, R. et al. Effect of Pre-Analytical Errors on Quality of Laboratory Medicine at a Neuropsychiatry Institute in North India. Ind J Clin Biochem 26, 46–49 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12291-010-0082-2