Data entry is a huge bottleneck in our facility when it comes to testing. Entering the patient information, reporting location, and testing requested into the laboratory system probably takes the most amount of hands on time in the entire process.
Of course, patient care should come first, not seeing how many requisitions you can enter, and we have always harped on stopping and double checking your entry before moving on. Missing a test or sending results to the wrong location affects quality of care in many ways (there was once a report from anatomical pathology indicating that a patient had cancer that we could not find the correct physician to send the report to for about a week. The result was a delay in their treatment, leaving the patient knee deep in suspense over their results, and breaching their health privacy since the report went to the wrong location the first time.)
Missing tests, however, is a larger concern than reporting, and you’ll understand if you’ve ever seen some of the requisitions physicians make for us. This one time, microbiology missed a request for an extra plate for a gonococcal culture from a patient’s throat swab. It was noticed too late for the swab to be replanted and she needed a recollect. The unfortunate part is she was a sexual assault patient and it was a terrible thing to put her through more.
A mixed blessing was that the physician had the sense to start her on antibiotics after the first swab was taken, but that meant that on the recollect, the bug would not grow either way and in the end, we never knew the result on that patient.