ANALYSIS OF PREVAILING ERRORS IN MEDICAL LABORATORY PRACTICES BY LABORATORY PRACTITIONERS IN KARU DISTRICT AREA ABUJA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Quality in lab medicine should be defined as the “guarantee that each and every step in the total testing process is correctly performed”, thus assuring the appropriate medical decision making and prompt patient care. Giuseppe L (2006). Following the development and successful implementation of high-quality analytical standards, analytical errors are no longer the main factor influencing the reliability and clinical utilization of laboratory diagnostics. Errors occurring within the extra-analytical phases are still the prevailing source of concern.
Giuseppe L (2006). Accordingly, lack of standardized procedures for sample collection, including patient preparation, specimen acquisition, handling and storage, account for up to 93% of the errors currently encountered within the entire diagnostic process. The more recent surveys on errors in laboratory medicine conclude that in the delivery of laboratory testing, mistakes occur more frequently before (pre-examination) and after (post-examination) the test has been performed.
Advances in science and technology have led to transformation of laboratory diagnostics from manual, cumbersome testing methods to fully automated science, ensuring accuracy and speed. Advances in automation, sample collection, transportation, and dispatch of reports have led to a drastic improvement in the performance of laboratories.
However, the laboratory cannot function in isolation and is dependent on other departments, mainly the clinical division for sending properly filled requisition slips and samples for analysis. Modern day diagnosis is heavily dependent upon reliable laboratory data. It is therefore, pertinent to ensure credibility of the results emanating from the clinical laboratories.
Quality is the core issue for all laboratories and this requires total quality management in the laboratory process in the pre-analytic, analytic, and post-analytic phases. The concept of total quality management encompasses all the steps involved in sample processing, beginning from test ordering to the final interpretation of results by the clinicians to reduce or eliminate the errors that may arise during the various steps.
Promotion of ideal phlebotomy practices and sample transport procedures are a pre-requisite for the effective laboratory functioning. Dependence on accurate laboratory results for establishing diagnosis makes it mandatory for labs to ensure accountability and accuracy of results and negate incorrect diagnosis due to faulty report
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of medical errors has recently received a great deal of attention, which will probably increase. Most especially, the issue in the fields of laboratory medicine and blood transfusion. This could be as a result of lack of professionals in the laboratory; it could also be that there is no proper supervision in the laboratory. Finally, several research has been carried out on the errors of clinical laboratory and Its impact on patient safety but not even a single research has been carried out on prevailing errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners in Karu district area, Abuja.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the study is to examine prevailing errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. to determine the causative factors of errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners in Karu District area, Abuja.
2. to determine the effect of medical laboratory errors on patients’ prescription in Karu District Area, Abuja.
3. to examine public perception of errors in medical laboratory by laboratory practitioners in Karu District area Abuja.
4. to proffer possible solutions to the problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the causative factors of errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners in Karu District area, Abuja?
2. What is the effect of medical laboratory errors on patients’ prescription in Karu District Area, Abuja?
3. What is public perception of errors in medical laboratory by laboratory practitioners in Karu District area Abuja?
4. What are the possible solutions to the problems?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant effect of errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners.
H1: There is a significant effect of errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the prevailing errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners will be of immense benefit to the entire Karu District area, Abuja in the sense that it will enable the practitioners to be careful when carrying out any laboratory test and for them to be careful with the samples of patients so as not to mistake one’s sample for another.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on prevailing errors in medical laboratory practices by laboratory practitioners is limited to Karu District area, Abuja.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Prevailing Existing at a particular time; current.
Medical LaboratoryA medical laboratory or clinical laboratory is a laboratory where clinical pathology tests are carried out on clinical specimens to obtain information about the health of a patient to aid in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
Laboratory Practitioners Medical laboratory science professionals, often called medical laboratorians, are vital healthcare detectives, uncovering and providing laboratory information from laboratory analyses that assist physicians in patient diagnosis and treatment, as well as in disease monitoring or prevention (maintenance of health).