Inadequate Information in Laboratory Test Requisition in a Tertiary Hospital in Benin City, Nigeria
Aim: Laboratory investigations are important aspect of patient management and inadequate information or errors arising from the process of filling out laboratory Request Forms can impact significantly on the quality of laboratory result and ultimately on patient care.
Objectives: This study examined the pattern of deficiencies in the laboratory test requisition by doctors at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria, with a view to suggesting strategies of reducing error rates in laboratory test requisition.
Materials and Method: The study generated data through retrospective examination of a total of 3072 laboratory request forms submitted to the medical microbiology laboratory over a period of three months. The various deficiencies in terms of missing or incomplete information on patient’s identity, clinical details, identity of doctor, and information on specimen submitted were recorded from each request form. The data generated were subjected to statistical computation using SPSS version 16, while applying descriptive statistics for analysis.
Results: A total of 3072 request forms were evaluated, 2995 (97.5%) had one or more deficiency in terms of missing or incorrectly stated information. A total of 1786 (48.1%) of the request form had one or more incomplete or missing information in respect of patient identity. One thousand six hundred and ninety nine (55.3%) of the forms had error in relation to clinical information. The identity of the doctor requesting the test was missing or incomplete on 883 (28.8%) of the forms. Majority of the request forms 2957 (96.3%) had no complete information about the specimen submitted to the laboratory.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that overall, the error rate in laboratory test requisition by doctors is very high in our environment. There is need therefore to adopt practical strategies and policies to reduce this trend.
Key words: Information, laboratory, requisition, Hospital, Benin City.