Medical Minute 1/25/20
We’ve all heard the term “STAT.” In hospitals and clinics, lab tests often are ordered “STAT” … because of a health emergency, like a patient with chest pain. But sometimes it’s primarily for the convenience of the patient and/or doctor. In fact, it’s common for too many tests to get ordered “STAT” … which can overwhelm a clinical laboratory so that almost nothing gets done quickly. Researchers say a better solution is to reduce the time it takes to do most tests, from the common complete blood count to a test for a protein released by a damaged heart in that patient with chest pain. With the latest automation and practices, the investigators report cutting the time in half for nearly every test.