How did I get that test order wrong?

Question: Having ordered what seems like the right test, a result is not returned or the test is declined with a request to order differently. How does this happen and how can it be avoided? 

Context: Those new to Connect Care may fumble the occasional test or procedure order. Possible reasons for delays or declines include:
  • Wrong Test
    • A vast number of tests are available to request via Connect Care, using a catalogue that includes all possible orderables for an entire province.
    • Different tests can have similar names. It is important to consider possible alternative test names, check the "Facility List" if nothing familiar appears on the "Preference List", and chose the most specific test description to fit your intent.
  • Wrong Sample
    • Test orderables can have similar names but relate to different clinical needs. 
    • If ordering a pH, for example, be sure to select the test appropriate to the fluid being sampled (e.g., venous, arterial, pleural).
  • Wrong Location
    • An increasing number of assays can be performed using Point of Care Testing (POCT), with rapid result availability. However, the instrumentation needs to be available in-facility, as well as the test kits for the desired assay, with staff certified to use the equipment.
    • Local variation in POCT availability is inevitable. Be sure to check with colleagues, or laboratory services, that the POCT orderable found in Connect Care is available on site.
  • Wrong Permission
    • In some cases, special assays require special permission in order to be performed. This will usually be communicated to the ordering prescriber.
Answer: Just as has always been the case, prescribers need to build an awareness of the laboratory services available at a particular facility. If in doubt, ask. Local laboratory services will know what can be ordered, and how. In addition, Connect Care "Resource Links" (top menu in Hyperspace) are provided for:
  • Reference: Alberta Precision Laboratories Test Directory
  • Reference: DynaLIFE Medical Labs Test Directory

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