In the linked dataset, 57% of ED presentations involved a single pathology test order episode; 43% of ED presentations involved multiple test order episodes (up to 17 test order episodes). There was a median of seven tests in each test order episode (inter-quartile range: 5 to 10 tests). Sometimes, a subsequent test order episode occurred before all the results of a preceding test order episode were available to clinicians. In addition, tests from a single test order episode were often processed in different departments of the pathology service and therefore test results become available at different times. These issues had the potential to confound statistical analyses.
In order to simplify the data analysis, we included only presentations with a single pathology test order episode (57% of ED presentations); and utilised the maximum test TAT before patient discharge (i.e., the test TAT for the slowest test result that was available before the patient was discharged from the ED).
There were 31,214 presentations, for 28,191 patients, which met the criteria stated previously (presentations that had only one test order episode, had a valid laboratory test TAT, and presented at the ED of one of the hospital sites).

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The impact of the implementation of electronic ordering on hospital pathology services(PDF 2082 KB)