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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-45

Intralaboratory Turnaround Time (TAT) in a developing country: An audit of a histopathology department of a Nigerian Teaching Hospital

1 Department of Pathology, Central Hospital, Benin-City, Nigeria
2 Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O J Uchendu
Department of Pathology, Central Hospital, Benin-City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Introduction: Timeliness of surgical reports, along with diagnostic accuracy and completeness of report content, has been recognized as one of the key indicators of quality in surgical pathology. Various methods have been used by various experts in assessing turnaround time (TAT) in surgical pathology laboratories. Objective: To determine the TAT of processing surgical pathology specimen and to identify the possible sources of delay with a view to resolving them. Materials and method: This is a prospective study. A total of 100 routine surgical specimens were followed up from reception to verification and dispatch of results. The average TAT is presented in days. Results: The mean TAT of a surgical specimen was 11.10 days. Reception and gross handling, histology processing, resident reporting, consultant reporting, transcription and verification accounting for 23.80%, 34.10%, 18.10%, 10.00%, 11.20% and 2.70% respectively of the TAT. Conclusion: This study shows that in our centre, TAT of the surgical pathology reports can be improved upon by educating and motivating the staff to mind this index of quality of performance. There is also a need to improve infrastructure and introduce ICT into routine work. This will be applicable to most laboratories of our type in developing countries.

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