College of American Pathologists

  QT8 - Stat Test Turnaround Time Outliers


Updated December 15, 2008

Stat Test Turnaround Time Outliers QT8
Measuring laboratory stat test turnaround time (TAT) is useful to the laboratory in evaluating the service delivery process. The stat test TAT outlier rate, expressed as a percent of tests missing target reporting times, is a measure of outcomes that evaluates how well the laboratory meets patient and clinician needs.

Monitor Objective
Monitor the frequency with which stat test TAT intervals exceed institutional stat test TAT expectations.

Data Collection
Before beginning data collection, participants will establish a specimen receipt-to-report deadline for Emergency Department (ED) stat potassium tests. On six predetermined days per month, participants will monitor the turnaround time of up to ten randomly selected ED stat potassium tests on each of three eight-hour shifts and track the number of ED stat potassium determinations reported later than the established reporting deadline. This monitor includes stat potassium tests ordered as part of a panel and excludes stat potassium levels that are requested on body fluids other than blood, as part of timed or protocol studies, or after the specimen arrives in the laboratory.

Performance Indicators

  • Stat TAT Outlier Rate (%)
  • Breakdown of Outliers by Shift (%)
  • Breakdown of Outliers by Day of Week (%)

Input forms for quarterly data will be sent to participants approximately three weeks prior to the quarter.


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