Friday, 06 October 2017

How Long Does It Take to Get My Test Results?

For customers, waiting for a test result can be hard as they usually want an immediate and convenient result. However, the test result completion time may vary depending on the duration for each phase of the testing, namely pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical phases.

Pre-analytical

When patients come to Prodia, they register to the laboratory staff for the test as suggested by the doctor, and then Prodia' s phlebotomist will collect the specimen. The specimen then is submitted to the Specimen Distribution Department where they check for its data accuracy and condition. Only the specimen that meets the requirements will be used for the test.

The Specimen Distribution Department will take at least 30 minutes to completely freeze the specimen. If the process conducted below the set duration, there will be components which may disrupt the accuracy and consistency of the specimen during the laboratory test. This is a critical factor, we need to wait for 30 minutes to ensure the quality of the specimen. Once the specimen is completely frozen, it will be centrifuged and ready to be processed in the laboratory.

The laboratory will reconfirm the specimen received for its data, type, and condition. The qualified specimen will be used by the laboratory staffs according to the list of tests requested.

Analytical

All instruments and materials used for the test must be inspected through Quality Control program to ensure their good condition. This program provides assurance for the patients that the specimen will only be processed through the analytical system and that the 'error' instruments will not be used during the test. Preparation time is needed to conduct quality control process.

Post-analytical

Once the test has been performed, the result will be validated technically by the laboratory staffs and clinically by the Quality Validator or the Doctor in Charge. When the test result is 'doubtful' or 'inappropriate with the patient' s status/condition' , the Doctor in Charge will perform a retest. The aim is to ensure and confirm the laboratory test, which is a part of Patient Safety. It is mandatory for the laboratory to deliver an accurate and correct result to the patient.

From the process we know that to generate an accurate and timely test result, there must be check and recheck, quality control program, and result validation which all require time.

Time required

For routine check-ups such as clinical chemistry, hematology, and urinalysis, the result can be delivered immediately, whereas for tests sent by Prodia Reference Lab requires longer time. For clinical chemistry, it requires only 60-70 minutes to process the specimen, whereas for hematology generally it takes about 65-80 minutes to process the specimen. Urinalysis usually requires a 60-75 minute process. As for the immunology test, it requires 95-110 minutes to process the specimen. The above duration is calculated after the laboratory receives the specimen. Calculating from the time the patient arrives at Prodia until the test result delivery, the average time needed is 2.5-3 hours. If the patient only requests for clinical chemistry and hematology tests, the completion time will likely be shorter.

Under certain circumstances, the patients may ask for immediate test results by communicating their needs to Prodia staff. If possible, then the request will be granted.

Prodia is committed to give an accurate, reliable, trusted, and timely result for the customers. Since 2012-2017 Prodia has succeeded to speed up the test result delivery. Each year the laboratory process becomes less and less time consuming. In 2012 the time required for the process was 196 minutes, and by the 1st semester of 2017, it only takes 132 minutes.

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