Pattern of completion of Laboratory Request Forms in a tertiary health facility
Background: Laboratory request form is an important means of interaction between clinicians and laboratory service providers. The omission of information on the request form may result in laboratory errors which may have a negative impact on patients’ outcome.
Objective: To assess the pattern of completion of laboratory request forms in a tertiary facility.
Methods: Two thousand, two hundred and forty-one laboratory request forms sent to the laboratory over a period of two months were assessed for their level of completeness.
Results: Out of 2241 laboratory request forms, only 5 (0.2%) was fully completed. The most complete information on the forms included types of investigation required (98.9%), the gender of the patient (97.8%), the identity of consultant-in-charge of the patient (95.3%) and the referring physician's name and signature (93.8%). The least provided information was the time of collection of the specimen (0.7%).
Conclusion: This study shows that laboratory request forms are frequently incompletely and inadequately completed. Continuous medical education of clinicians on the need for adequate completion of request forms is required.
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