It takes 2-5 minutes to draw the blood pr. patient and maximum 30 minutes to analyze the blood sample. Why is the test result not on the way to the patient/doctor within 35 minutes but very often it lasts more than 1,5 hours and up to 3 hours?
In order to reduce the turn-around time for blood samples we suggest that all procedures - from the decision that a blood sample is needed till the analysis result is back - should be considered as one. We call that ToTAT - Total Turn Around Time.
Let´s divide the need for reducing turn-around time for blood samples, into a few stages:
Stage one: Identify the patient, choose the right blood sample.
Stage two: Draw the blood from the patient
Stage three: Transport the blood sample to the laboratory
Stage four: Analyse the blood sample
Stage five: Use the analysis result to treat the patient
In a majority of the hospitals we see a well-known and documented stage one, two, four and five. But stage three is not a focal point and is typically not measured as this is "just transport". Consequently a lot of hospitals are not able to document their ToTAT.
In order to reduce turn-around time for blood samples, we need to know the ToTAT. And we need to control and avoid the fact that blood samples simply disappear now and then, as requesting blood samples is very expensive and also time-consuming for staff and patient.
With a simple dedicated blood sample transport system called Tempus600, you can get a documented stage three. Depending on the length of the pipeline the transport time varies from seconds to maximum a couple of minutes. This can give every hospital a known and effective ToTAT.
With a fully implemented Total Lab automation and integrated Tempus600 systems, the ToTAT can be less than 1 hour and maximum 1 hour every time. And, best of all, no blood samples will disappear.
So when you want to reduce turn-around time for blood samples, start by looking at all stages and not the most visible procedures.