Pre-analytical errors and patient outcomes in the total testing process

Christopher Morias, Greg Palmer, Abishek Santhakumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pathology laboratory plays a significant role in a patient's healthcare journey therefore any error in the total testing process (TTP) is significant. The TPP involves the pre-pre-analytical, pre-analytical, analytical, post-analytical, post-post-analytical phases, with the potential for errors to occur in any of these phases. The pre-pre-analytical and pre-analytical phases are the most susceptible to errors in the TTP as they generally involve multiple health care workers from different disciplines and occur outside of the laboratory's control. The incidence of these errors differs depending on geographical location, hospital size, inpatient status, laboratory type, and population served. Mechanisms such as improved communication, a workplace culture built around patient safety, the use of total quality management systems (TOMs), and performance indicators (Pis) can all be used to reduce the occurrence of errors throughout the TTP. Fewer errors throughout the TTP would result in a higher quality healthcare service focused on patient safety and patient outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Medical Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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