A prospective pilot survey of the impact of general practitioner generated full blood count requests on clinical haematology workload: a London teaching hospital experience
- Department of Haematology, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
- Correspondence to Professor B J Hunt, Department of Haematology, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH, UK;
Contributors MSI, BS and KS were responsible for data collection. MSI and BJH were involved in conception, design of the study and drafting the manuscript. MSI analysed the data. All the authors approved the manuscript.
- Accepted 1 November 2011
- Published Online First 29 November 2011
- Full blood count
- general practice
- clinical haematology
- blood film
Workload measurement is critical for planning, programming and staffing an organisation.1 Rising consumer expectation, the growing and ageing population and the increases in the number and technical sophistication of medical interventions have increased the workload in haematology laboratories as in other laboratory specialities,2 3 both from primary and secondary care. Since 1996, the National Pathology Benchmarking Study has conducted annual cycles of comparative analysis of the workload and organisation of haematology departments in the UK.4 In the current economic climate and with the trend towards laboratory centralisation, many laboratories are moving the analysis of general practitioner (GP)-requested samples to central laboratories. However, there are no studies that specifically aimed to determine the laboratory workload generated by the GP requests and the clinical haematology workload specifically emanating from GP-requested samples. Full blood count (FBC) analysis is a commonly requested laboratory investigation by all types of healthcare professionals in both primary and secondary care. We aimed to determine the magnitude of the laboratory and clinical haematological workload generated by GP-requested FBC samples by conducting a prospective pilot survey in our inner city haematology laboratory. To our knowledge, no previous studies have specifically determined the clinical haematology laboratory workload from FBC request by GPs.
This survey was conducted in the Laboratory Haematology section of GSTS, which serves Guy's and St Thomas' Trust (GSTT) and 131 …