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It is well established that test ordering practices vary widely between healthcare providers even when adjusted for similar patient populations and conditions. Similarly, ordering practices vary between facilities which depend, in part, on certain operational practices and policies. This may involve test menu configuration, ordering protocols, or restriction policies such as use of laboratory formularies. Another method to evaluate potential gaps in utilization practices is to evaluate adjusted volume of specific tests between facilities. This information can be useful to laboratories for prompting evaluation of potential factors associated with differences in quality of specific tests performed when compared to peers.


The purpose of this study is to provide participants with comparative benchmarks involving annual volumes of various inpatient tests and number of inpatient days. The amount of testing performed per impatient day will be used to adjust for the ordering practice variability between facilities.

In addition, associations between standardized test volumes and ordering practices in use by participants, such as test menu design, reflex testing, decision support, standing orders, and order restriction policies, will be evaluated.

Data Collection

Participants will report the 2019 annual volume for specific inpatient tests including both common high volume tests as well as less commonly ordered low volume tests. Annual inpatient days will also be collected. Other information such as whether the test is included on a panel will be collected in addition to information about general laboratory stewardship policies and procedures.

Performance Indicators

  • Annual inpatient test volume standardized by inpatient days
  • Index score of standardized inpatient test volume

Shipping Schedule

C Mailing: June 8, 2020

Additional Information

This is a one-time study conducted in the third quarter.

Q-PROBES qualify for Self-Reported Training Opportunities to be used for fulfilling requirements for certification maintenance by agencies such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Please verify with your certifying agency to determine your education requirements.

For Comprehensive Collection of Tools, see Quality Management Tools.

Select Q-PROBES and Q-TRACKS studies to support your quality improvement initiatives.
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Patient Identification Accuracy (QT1)
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Laboratory Specimen Acceptability (QT3)
In-Date Blood Product Wastage (QT4)
Gynecologic Cytology Outcomes: Biopsy Correlation Performance (QT5)
Satisfaction with Outpatient Specimen Collection (QT7)
Stat Test Turnaround Time Outliers (QT8)
Critical Values Reporting (QT10)
Troponin Turnaround Times (QT15)
Corrected Results (QT16)
Outpatient Order Entry Errors (QT17)

*The CAP requires accredited laboratories to have a quality management plan that covers all areas of the laboratory and includes benchmarking key measures of laboratory performance (GEN.13806, GEN.20316, COM.04000). The Joint Commission requires accredited hospitals to regularly collect and analyze performance data (PI.01.01.01, PI.02.01.01). CLIA requires laboratories to monitor, assess, and correct problems identified in preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic systems (§493.1249, §493.1289, §493.1299).