Journal:Timely delivery of laboratory efficiency information, Part I: Developing an interactive turnaround time dashboard at a high-volume laboratory

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Full article title Timely delivery of laboratory efficiency information, Part I: Developing an interactive turnaround time dashboard at a high-volume laboratory
Journal African Journal of Laboratory Medicine
Author(s) Cassim, Naseem; Tepper, Manfred E.; Coetzee, Lindi M.; Glencross, Deborah K.
Author affiliation(s) National Health Laboratory Service, University of the Witwatersrand
Primary contact Email: naseem dor cassim at wits dot ac dot za
Year published 2020
Volume and issue 9(2)
Article # a947
DOI 10.4102/ajlm.v9i2.947
ISSN 2225-2010
Distribution license Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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Background: Mean turnaround 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 in Johannesburg, South Africa, during 2018. Steps required to develop the dashboard were summarized in a flowchart. To illustrate the dashboard, one week of data from a busy laboratory for a specific set of tests was analyzed using annual performance plan TAT cutoffs. 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 cutoffs, 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 (LIS) 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




This presentation is faithful to the original, with only a few minor changes to presentation. Grammar was cleaned up for smoother reading. In some cases important information was missing from the references, and that information was added.