Preanalytical Factors Affecting Medical Laboratory Operations: A Look at Laboratory Request Forms in a Selected Tertiary Health-care Facility in Ibadan

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Unit of Chemical Pathology, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti,

2 Department of Chemical Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan

10.4103/iahs.iahs_5_17

Abstract

Aim: To document the frequencies of wrongly filled laboratory request forms with a view to improving process efficiency. Background: Available
data have shown that 70% of laboratory errors are preanalytical. Most hospitals in developing countries do not have standardized laboratory request
forms and often, laboratory users do not provide all the required information needed for smooth laboratory operations; however, the frequency
of these issues are often not documented. This study was aimed to document the frequencies of wrongly filled laboratory request forms with a
view to improving process efficiency. Materials and Methods: This was a laboratory‑based cross‑sectional study. A total of 5000 laboratory
request forms, collected from five different laboratory units in the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria were retrospectively reviewed
for the completeness of information supplied in the request forms after obtaining appropriate ethical approval. Descriptive statistics were used to
analyze the data collected. Results: Findings showed that laboratory request forms across hospital laboratories were not standardized following
international best practice. Required information needed for efficient laboratory operations were either incomplete or not provided in the request
forms. Conclusion: The need to standardize all request forms using global recommended template with a view to supplying all the necessary
information required for smooth laboratory operation and generation of credible data is highlighted in this study.

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