Laboratory results. Timeliness as a quality attribute and strategy

Am J Clin Pathol. 2001 Sep;116(3):311-5. doi: 10.1309/H0DY-6VTW-NB36-U3L6.


Although timeliness of results reporting has not been a major focus in clinical laboratories, there is increasing pressure from clinicians to report results rapidly. Even though there are only sparse data, timeliness in reporting of laboratory results undoubtedly affects clinician and patient satisfaction as well as length of hospital stay. Improving turnaround time (TAT) is a complex task involving education, equipment acquisition, and planning. All the steps from test ordering to results reporting should be monitored and steps taken to improve the processes. Various strategies to improve TAT at each step in the testing process are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems / standards*
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / standards*
  • Humans
  • Laboratories, Hospital / standards*
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards*
  • Time and Motion Studies
  • United States