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February 8, 1980

The Trips of Slips: Time Delays in Laboratory and X-ray Data for Outpatients in a Teaching Hospital

Author Affiliations

From the Health Services Research Program (Dr Dove and Ms Schneider) and the Ambulatory Care Program (Dr Gifford), Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Haven, Conn.

JAMA. 1980;243(6):537-539. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300320029017

The laboratory and x-ray studies performed on 148 outpatients were monitored to see how long it took for the results to be obtained, reviewed, and inserted into the medical record. An average of 27.0 days was required for all of these tasks. This mundane, unwieldy problem clearly deserves more attention, especially in outpatient clinics at teaching hospitals.

(JAMA 243:537-539, 1980)