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Unnecessary repeat requesting of tests: an audit in a government hospital immunology laboratory
  1. J Kwok,
  2. B Jones
  1. Clinical Immunology Division, Department of Pathology, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Kwok
 Department of Pathology, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong;


Unnecessary repeat requesting of tests can make up a large proportion of a laboratory’s workload. This audit set out to establish the size of this problem and to identify the circumstances under which these repeat requests were made in a government tertiary hospital immunology laboratory. The numbers of tests for immunoglobulin measurement, common autoantibodies, and tumour markers that were repeated over a 12 month period were analysed by interrogating the Delphic laboratory computer system using a management information system for raw data enquiry protocol. Repeat requests within 12 weeks of a previous request made up 16.78% of the total workload. The total cost of the tests was estimated at US$ 132 151. The waste of technician time and reagents as a result of unnecessary repeat testing is excessive. Many of these tests might be eliminated with the use of interventions such as computerised reminders.

  • ADNA, anti-double stranded DNA antibodies
  • AENA, anti-extractable nuclear antigen antibodies
  • AFP, α fetoprotein
  • AGPC, anti-gastric parietal cell antibodies
  • AMA, antimitochondrial antibodies
  • ANA, antineutrophil antibodies
  • ASM, anti-smooth muscle antibodies
  • CEA, carcinoembryonic antigen
  • PSA, prostate specific antigen
  • RF, rheumatoid factor
  • Hong Kong
  • immunology laboratory
  • cost
  • intervention
  • unnecessary repeat

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