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CAP Home > CAP Reference Resources and Publications > CAP TODAY > CAP TODAY 2008 Archive > Study findings in brief
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  Study findings in brief


CAP Today



February 2008
Feature Story

In the Q-Probes study, the median percentage of test results that met the lab’s criteria for “critical” was two percent. Results were not considered critical just because the test was ordered stat or with instructions to call the result, the Q-Probes study notes. In addition, a result was not considered critical if a previous critical result for the same analyte had already been called, and if a written policy specified that repeat critical values within a specified time did not need to be called again.

A look at some of the study’s findings:

  • Number of institutions in the study: 121
  • Number of critical value reports studied: 3,545
  • Median time from collection to notification: 56 minutes
  • Median time from obtaining result to notification: four minutes
  • Percent of laboratories that took a median of eight minutes or longer to call results after they were known: 25 percent
  • Percent of laboratories that took a median of 1.5 minutes or less: 25 percent
  • Percent of notification calls that included read-backs: 96 percent
  • Percent of results initially called to a licensed caregiver: 89 percent
  • Percent of laboratories that call critical results before results are released from the LIS: 50.4 percent
  • Average time savings in collection to notification by labs that called results before releasing them from the LIS: 11 minutes
  • Number of institutions using an automated system that included verification of contact to notify providers about a critical result: one
  • Percent of institutions using a defined script with standardized wording for calling critical values: 51.3 percent
  • Percent of institutions where the medical staff approved the list of critical values: 89 percent
  • Percent of institutions where the medical staff approved the ti e frame in which critical values were to be called: 86 percent
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