Analysing Turnaround Time in Laboratory - A Key Performance Indicator

Dinesh T A, Prem Nair, Vidya Jha, Abhijath V


Background: Turnaround time (TAT) is one of the key indicators of performance of a laboratory. Laboratories define it as the time from the receipt of sample/ specimen to the reporting. A fast TAT helps clinicians in making early diagnosis.

Aim: To determine the turnaround time (TAT) of the biochemistry laboratory with evaluation of the contribution of pre-analytical and analytical phase to the total TAT.

Results: A total of 399 samples were analysed from three outpatient departments. Average pre-analytical turnaround time contribution was found to be higher as compared to the analytical time. Excess workload and delay in pneumatic shoot were the main causes of delay in pre-analytical phase.

Conclusion: Improved turnaround time is the key to clinicians’ and patients’ better satisfaction with the laboratory. It can be attained by minimising the bottlenecks within the process.


Analytical, Laboratory, Pre-analytical, Turnaround time

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