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close this bookHealth Laboratory Facilities in Emergencies and Disaster Situations. (WHO - OMS, 1994, 169 p.)
close this folderChapter 12 Field laboratory record keeping and reports
View the document12.1 General
View the document12.2 The role of the laboratory in the investigation of disease outbreaks and epidemics
View the document12.3 Recording test results
View the document12.4 Laboratory procedure book

12.3 Recording test results

The assessment of the epidemiological situation in a population will be facilitated by a proper recording system.

In field laboratories, record keeping using books is still the best method. The fewer books and the simpler the specimen entry system the better. Use a large hard-back book each, for example, for malaria parasites, faecal specimens and miscellaneous tests.

Some numbering systems start with the date, followed by the specimen number. For example on the 28th of the month, the first specimen would be ‘Lab. no. 28-1’, the second specimen ‘28-2’, and so on. Figure 12.2 gives an example of a page for a ‘malaria book’.

It is recommended that the inside back cover of the malaria book be kept for recording a sample of the doctors’ signatures. Doctors should also be asked to provide specimen handwriting of ‘Blood smear’ and ‘Malaria smear’. Local health workers approved to request malaria smears should do the same. In this way it is possible to check who has requested malaria smears.

Figure 12.2 Example of a page in a malaria book

MALARIA BOOK

Lab. no.

Patient’s name

Age

Sex

Village & zone/house no.

Result

28-1






28-2






28-3






The back of the book may also be used for keeping daily statistics, as shown in Figure 12.3, starting from the last page and working backwards.

Figure 12.3 Example of a statistics page in a malaria book

Date

Total

No. positive

Details

16.8.85

22

7

4 P. falciparum 2 P. vivax

17.8.85

17

10

6 P. falciparum 4 P. vivax

The pages of a ‘faeces book’ may be set out as shown in Figure 12.4. The same numbering system may be used as for the malaria book; so for the first faeces specimen the number would be 28-1. Statistics for faecal specimens can be recorded daily in the back of the book, starting from the last page and working backwards.

Figure 12.4 Example of a page in faeces book

FAECES BOOK

Lab. no.

Patient’s name

Age

Sex

Village & zone/house no.

Result

28-1






28-2






28-3






A third hard-back foolscap book can be prepared to record the results of haemoglobin tests, urinalysis, CSF analysis and Gram stains. A different section of the book should be used for each type of test.

Each patient has a medical card. Alongside the test requested, write the test number (obtained from the laboratory report book). To avoid confusion, put a circle around all laboratory numbers (Lab. no.) on patients’ cards. Next day the patient will return for the result. This can be found by linking the circled number on the medical card to the same number in the report book and the result with it. Only trained laboratory staff should write results on patients’ medical cards.