Document Detail

Using root cause analysis and form redesign to reduce incorrect ordering of HIV tests.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23173397     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
BACKGROUND: Advances in molecular biology and changes in microbial nomenclature may subject diagnostic microbiology to errors. A patient diagnosed with Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia and then with AIDS had received a negative "AIDS test"--"negative for antibodies to HTLV 1 and 2." The test requisition showed that the physician had requested HTLV-I/II testing but not an HIV-1/2 test. A root cause analysis was performed to determine if the erroneous testing represented a systemic problem. A study was conducted to identify and address such testing errors.
METHODS: For the 1,952 HTLV-I/II test requests in a 17-month period in the Southern Alberta region, a random representative sample of 555 requests for HTLV-I/II testing were evaluated for appropriateness. Physicians ordering "inappropriate" tests were surveyed to determine root causes, and the HTLV-I/II check box was subsequently removed from the requisition.
RESULTS: Some 318 (94%) of the 340 clinically directed HTLV tests were likely or definitely inappropriate--that is, only an HIV-1/2 test was required. At least 81% (127/156) of the 8% (156/1,948) of the HTLV-I/II tests ordered without an HIV-1/2 test concurrently were ordered inappropriately. In the telephone survey, all 69 physicians suspected to have incorrectly ordered HTLV-I/II tests reported erroneously requesting HTLV for HIV. A root cause analysis identified confusing viral nomenclature, diagnostic testing menu, and form design as contributing factors. A requisition recall and redesign has reduced erroneous laboratory testing.
CONCLUSIONS: A high proportion of HTLV-I/II tests were ordered erroneously and confused with HIV-1/2. Careful attention to routine test menus and form design, including the exclusion of rare and confusing pathogens, reduces risk of error for practicing physicians.
Reed A C Siemieniuk; Kevin Fonseca; M John Gill
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources     Volume:  38     ISSN:  1553-7250     ISO Abbreviation:  Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-22     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101238023     Medline TA:  Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  506-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
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