The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Error Prevention: Patient Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Clinical Laboratory Services and Timeliness

The importance of clinical laboratory service timeliness is ingrained in medical laboratory professionals. However, "timeliness" needs to be expanded to encompass more than the portion of the total testing process that occurs within the walls of the clinical laboratory. For example, a more accurate description of timeliness begins with the time of test order entry and also identifies how long it routinely takes for action to be taken after test results are sent to a clinician. In order to track and improve this quality monitor, it is necessary for the laboratory to become more visible and vocal in the larger institution's (eg, hospital's) quality management program.