International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)

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Laboratory Tests Turnaround Time in Outpatient and Emergency Patients in Nigeria: Results of A Physician Survey on Point of Care Testing

Author(s):Bolodeoku J, Ogbeiwi O, Kuti MA, Adebisi SA

Laboratory analytical turnaround time is a well-recognised indicator of how well a laboratory is performing and is sometimes regarded as the benchmark for laboratory performance. Methods: Total 104 doctors in public and private health institutions in Nigeria, spread across all six geo-political zones participated in survey requesting information on their experience with laboratory turnaround times in emergency situations (emergency room, special care baby unit, intensive care unit, dialysis unit) and outpatient situations (general medicine and diabetes). Results: The average turnaround time in hours was 5.12, 8.35, 7.32 and 8.33 for the emergency room, special care baby unit, intensive care unit and dialysis unit, respectively. For the outpatient situations, the average turnaround time in hours was 10.74 and 15.70 hours for the diabetes and general medical outpatients. The median range (hours) and modal range (hours) for: the emergency room was 2-4 and <2; the special care baby unit was 4-8 and 4-8; the intensive care unit was 2-4 and 2-4; the dialysis unit was 4-8 and 4-8. The median range (hours) and modal range (hours) for: the general outpatient clinic was 12-24 and 12-24; the diabetic clinic was 4-8 and 12-24 hours. Conclusion: These turnaround time results are quite consistent with published data from other countries. However, there is some measure of improvement that is required in some areas to reduce the laboratory turnaround in the emergency situations. This could be overcome with the introduction of more point of care testing devices into emergency units.

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