Am J Clin Pathol. 2021 Jun 23:aqab074. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/aqab074. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Phone calls to the microbiology laboratory can be to clarify culture results and provide education, but those calls also interrupt laboratory workflow. We characterized calls that the laboratory received and developed targeted comments to educate providers.
METHODS: Calls were logged and characterized, and we developed comments to address common call subjects. We applied the new comments to cultures and logged calls over the same interval the subsequent year. Data before and after implementation were analyzed.
RESULTS: Call volume decreased from 496 calls to 419 calls after implementation. There was a significant difference in level of training among callers (P < .005), but the nature of the calls did not change. Laboratory response showed an increase in release of previously generated data (eg, suppressed susceptibility results). Comments specifically developed to address intrinsic antibiotic resistance and common susceptibility patterns did not decrease call volume.
CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of comments in the laboratory information system decreased call volume, but targeted comments were less effective than anticipated.