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Order accuracy bears an obvious relationship to the quality of laboratory testing. When the laboratory fails to complete a requested test, it delays the diagnostic evaluation, consumes resrouces, causes patient inconvenience, and may prolong therapy. When the laboratory completes a test that was not requested, the cost of care increases, patients may be subjected to unnecessary phlebotomy, and laboratory efficiency declines. Use this monitor to help meet CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program Checklist statements GEN.20316, 40700, 40725, 40750 for test order and related information accuracy and meet The Joint Commission Standard DC.01.02.01: The laboratory performs testing based on written laboratory test orders.


Measure the incidence of incorrectly interpreted and entered outpatient physician test orders into the laboratory information system, compare performance across institutions, and track performance over time.

Data Collection

On six preselected weekdays per month, participants will compare eight outpatient requisitions or order sheets to the orders entered into the laboratory’s information system to determine if any order entry errors occurred.

This monitor includes test order review from ambulatory outpatients seen in offices and clinics operated by your laboratory services, private physician offices, nursing homes, extended care facilities, and free-standing phlebotomy areas. Also included are send-out tests, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, toxicology, and urinalysis tests on out patients. Order entry error categories include requesting physician errors, incorrect and extra test orders, missing test orders and diagnosis codes, test priority errors, and copy or fax result errors.

This monitor excludes tests performed in transfusion medicine or anatomic pathology and also excludes tests from the following patient care settings: inpatient, emergency department, ambulatory surgery, urgent care, chest pain center, 23-hour short-stay facility, employee health department, outpatient screening fair/promotion, and dialysis center.

Performance Indicators

  • Overall outpatient order entry error rate (%)
  • Order entry error rates by type (%)

Performance Breakdown

  • Breakdown of error types (%)

Shipping Schedule

  • Shipment A: December 4, 2023
  • Shipment B: March 11, 2024
  • Shipment C: June 10, 2024
  • Shipment D: September 9, 2024

Additional Information

Participants in this program receive:

  • User Guide
  • Templates and instructions for data collection
  • Quarterly reports that include fingerprint clusters, customer-defined groups, and all institution comparisons
  • Peer directory

Quality Management Tools activities meet the American Board of Pathology MOC Part IV Practice Performance Assessment requirements.

For Comprehensive Collection of Tools, see Quality Management Tools.

Select Q-PROBES and Q-TRACKS studies to support your quality improvement initiatives.
Anatomic Pathology
Clinical Pathology
Turnaround Time
Patient Safety
Transfusion Medicine
Chemistry/ Hematology
Customer Satisfaction
Non-Physician Care Team Satisfaction With Clinical Laboratory Services (QP231)
Technical Competency Assessment of Body Fluid Review (QPB10)
Technical Competency Assessment of Peripheral Blood Smears (QPC10/QPC25)
Technical Competency Assessment of Gram Stains (QPD10/QPD25)
Patient Identification Accuracy (QT1)
Blood Culture Contamination (QT2)
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).