Haematology Request Forms at a New Tertiary Health Institution in North central, Nigeria: Evaluation of Level of Compliance with Entries and the Impact on Results
Meticulous completion of the haematology request forms is an essential component of pre-analytical protocol. This process that contributes to the quality of laboratory results is critical for patient management. We set out to determine the level and adequacy of information provided when haematological investigations are requested and its impact on patient management.Requests forms submitted for haematological examinations were checked for completeness. The number of times items on the forms that were properly filled and omitted were recorded. The rate of compliance with filling in each item was determined. Comparisons were made between physicians and surgeons and among departments. Descriptive analysis of the data generated was carried out. Four thousand request forms were analyzed for completeness. 26.5 % (1060) were completely filled while 73.5% (2940) had one or more omissions. Client's name was filled in 100% of the forms while the item with the lowest level of compliance (56.3%) was the time of specimen collection. On the average, the rate of completeness of the forms was 86.6%. Physicians significantly completed the request forms more than the surgeons (32.8% vs 19.2%, p=0.0001). Department of Medicine had the highest completion rate of 43.7%, followed by Paediatrics 20.6%, Obstetrics and Gynaecology was 19.5% and the least was Surgery 18.8%. Incomplete information on the request forms lead to non-interpretation of 21.5% of the laboratory requests by the laboratory physicians. This study revealed low compliance with the supply of information required in the request form at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi. This negatively impacted on the interpretation of the laboratory results. Modification of medical curriculum, education of clinicians, introduction of electronic requesting and rejection of request forms lacking critical items are being recommended.
Keywords: Haematology request form, Evaluation, Nigeria, and Tertiary Hospital