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vol.9 issue2Timely delivery of laboratory efficiency information, Part II: Assessing the impact of a turn-around time dashboard at a high-volume laboratory author indexsubject indexarticles search
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African Journal of Laboratory Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2225-2010
Print version ISSN 2225-2002


CASSIM, Naseem; TEPPER, Manfred E.; COETZEE, Lindi M.  and  GLENCROSS, Deborah K.. Timely delivery of laboratory efficiency information, Part I: Developing an interactive turnaround time dashboard at a high-volume laboratory. Afr. J. Lab. Med. [online]. 2020, vol.9, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 2225-2010.

BACKGROUND: Mean turn-around time (TAT) reporting for testing laboratories in a national network is typically static and not immediately available for meaningful corrective action and does not allow for test-by-test or site-by-site interrogation of individual laboratory performance. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to develop an easy-to-use, visual dashboard to report interactive graphical TAT data to provide a weekly snapshot of TAT efficiency. METHODS: An interactive dashboard was developed by staff from the National Priority Programme and Central Data Warehouse of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa, during 2018. Steps required to develop the dashboard were summarised in a flowchart. To illustrate the dashboard, one week of data from a busy laboratory for a specific set of tests was analysed using annual performance plan TAT cut-offs. Data were extracted and prepared to deliver an aggregate extract, with statistical measures provided, including test volumes, global percentage of tests that were within TAT cut-offs and percentile statistics. RESULTS: Nine steps were used to develop the dashboard iteratively with continuous feedback for each step. The data warehouse environment conformed and stored laboratory information system data in two formats: (1) fact and (2) dimension. Queries were developed to generate an aggregate TAT data extract to create the dashboard. The dashboard successfully delivered weekly TAT reports. CONCLUSION: Implementation of a TAT dashboard can successfully enable the delivery of near real-time information and provide a weekly snapshot of efficiency in the form of TAT performance to identify and quantitate bottlenecks in service delivery.

Keywords : Turn-around time; laboratory efficiency; interactive dashboard; indicators; performance assessment.

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