Timely delivery of laboratory efficiency information, Part I: Developing an interactive turnaround time dashboard at a high-volume laboratory
In this 2020 article published in the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine, Cassim et al. describe their experience developing and implementing a system for tracking turnaround time (TAT) in a high-volume laboratory. Seeking to have weekly reports of turnaround time—to better react to changes and improve policy—the authors developed a dashboard-based system for the South African National Health Laboratory Service and tested it in one if their higher-volume labs to assess the TAT monitoring system’s performance. They conclude that while their dashboard “enables presentation of weekly TAT data to relevant business and laboratory managers, as part of the overall quality management portfolio of the organization,” the actual act of “providing tools to assess TAT performance does not in itself imply corrective action or improvement.” They emphasize that training on the system, as well as system performance measurements, gradual quality improvements, and the encouragement of a leadership-promoted business culture that supports the use of such data, are all required for the success of such a tool to be ensured.