We conducted a brief audit recently on blood culture identification, and in particular how long it took for a definitive identification result (by MALDI-TOF) to be relayed to the hospital clinicians.
Audits are great at demonstrating that you are not half as good as you think you are…
Our audit showed that it was taking anywhere (depending on which cohort was studied) between 8 and 16 hours from when the identification was released by the laboratory into the “result repository”, until the result was actually viewed by a clinician.
And at the weekends the time delay was even longer, up to a day.
You can have the most sophisticated equipment in your laboratory, and we do…
You can have highly skilled and motivated staff members, and sure enough, we have them.
And you can also have one of the most progressive provincial microbiology laboratories in the world, and I like to think we have that as well.
But it all counts for nothing if we can’t communicate our results in a timely fashion.
Audit can be painful to perform, but highly informative in implementing best practice.
So back to the drawing board for us. Time to sit down and talk with the clinicians and work out a way to communicate results more quickly in order to optimise patient outcomes.
It’s good to talk.
Pre-analytical, peri-analytical and post-analytical phases. They all matter, and they all need to be addressed…