Utilization of stat test priority in the clinical laboratory: a College of American Pathologists q-probes study of 52 institutions.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Feb;137(2):220-7
Authors: Volmar KE, Wilkinson DS, Wagar EA, Lehman CM
CONTEXT: Utilization of stat testing priority is a balance between safe, efficient patient management and resource expenditure.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the rate of stat testing, compare rates among institutions, and determine the distribution of turnaround time expectations for different turnaround time priorities.
DESIGN: During a 7-day period, participants prospectively determined the total number of chemistry, hematology, and coagulation billable tests from inpatients and emergency department patients. Among these, the total numbers of billable tests performed stat were identified. Laboratories also reported the levels of test priority they offered and turnaround expectations for each level of test priority.
RESULTS: Fifty institutions submitted data for the study, with 2 additional participants submitting partial results. Participants identified 639 589 chemistry, hematology, and coagulation billable tests, with 229 896 (35.9%) performed stat. The stat rate varied from 21.3% at the 10th percentile to 55.4% at the 90th percentile, with a median of 37.0% of participants' tests performed stat. Laboratories include a mean of 206 tests in chemistry, hematology, and coagulation test menus, with 67% of these tests offered stat. The fraction of the test menu offered stat varied from 29.0% at the 10th percentile to 97.8% at the 90th percentile, with a median of 73.3% of tests on the menu offered stat. The most common number of testing priorities offered by participating laboratories was 3 (44.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: Among the 52 participating laboratories, the median stat testing rate was 37.0% and a median 73.3% of the test menu was offered stat.
PMID: 23368864 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]