Laboratory information management in a central Nigerian hospital: non-collected or undelivered reports as quality indicator

KC Iregbu, N Abdullahi



Background: Reporting laboratory reports to the requesting physician is one vital component of the clinical laboratory testing process. Poor management of information generated in the laboratory, such as non collection/non-delivery of test reports, can adversely affect patient care and safety.

Aim: To determine the proportion and financial impact of some laboratory test reports not collected or delivered to the requesting physician.

Methods: A review of laboratory records of requests and collected reports of malaria parasite, urine microscopy, culture and sensitivity, and blood culture from June 2014 to December 2014 was carried out, and data analyzed.

Results: A total of 5321 laboratory requests comprising 4506 malaria parasites (MP), 414 urine microscopy, culture and sensitivity (urine m/c/s), and 410 blood culture were made, processed and reports generated. Of these, 1040 (19.6%) were not collected or delivered to the requesting physician. Urine m/c/s with 37.9% (157/414) accounted for the highest test-specific non-collected reports, closely followed by blood culture with 37.7% (151/401) and MP with 16% (732/4506). ICU with 54.6% (18/33) and A&E with 21% (149/710) accounted for the highest department-specific non-collected or undelivered reports. The cost of all non-collected or delivered reports was N1, 442,560 or 29.3% of the cost of the total requests during the study period.

Conclusion: The proportion of non-collected or undelivered test reports as seen in this study is huge, and indicates a poor laboratory information management system. There is therefore, need to institute and implement appropriate laboratory quality management system to improve patient care and reduce wastage of resources.

Keywords: Information management, Laboratory Report, Central Nigeria

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Laboratory information management in a central Nigerian hospital non-collected or undelivered reports as quality indicator