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Qual Assur Health Care. 1992 Mar;4(1):77-81.

Inappropriate emergency test ordering in a general hospital: preliminary reports.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, General Hospital of Udine, Italy.


An assessment was made on emergency laboratory test ordering at Udine General Hospital (Italy) to investigate the reasons for the excessive number of requested tests. All the orders for emergency laboratory tests during one week in June 1990 were studied. For each test the time of the order was recorded for every day of the week. The most important aspect of our investigation is the distribution of the orders during the day: in fact, test orders reached two peaks, the upper between 7 and 11 a.m., and the lower between 3 and 6 p.m. The analysis of the record cards showed that 42% of the orders were inappropriate. These preliminary findings were very useful in making the consensus on a Quality Assurance program easier, to improve the use of the Emergency Laboratory by doctors and nurses. Some preliminary results in the Emergency Medicine Department confirmed the validity of this program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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