Findings from this survey show that there is substantial
variability in certain coagulation laboratory practices. Although in most
cases the response patterns from the large and small hospital respondents
were not significantly (P > 0.050) different, several questions
solicited significantly different responses from these 2 groups.
To our knowledge, this is currently the only report of a
broad and comprehensive survey of nationally based coagulation-specific and
general laboratory practices. This survey used 2 different modes of data
collection: paper-based and electronic. An inherent limitation of our survey
instrument is that responses may not consistently reflect actual practices.
Surveys are subject to framing biases which can be reduced (e.g., by pilot
testing) but not totally avoided. We believe our results present a
representative and accurate snapshot of reported hospital coagulation
laboratory practices in 2001.
This report is a descriptive characterization of
coagulation-specific and general laboratory practices and makes no attempt
to relate specific laboratory practices we have observed to other
laboratory- and hospital-specific variables or to clinical and health
outcomes of patients and populations. Explorations of such
inter-relationships using these survey results and those that have been or
may be collected in specific outcome studies will be avenues for further
We thank Dr. Jack Leiss of ASI for his contributions to the
development and implementation of this survey and Ms. Andrea Zombeck for her
efforts during the administration and data collection phase of this project.
We also thank Drs. Edward Gaunt and Beverly Warden of ASI, Dr. Michael
Laposata of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Connie Miller of the CDC, Dr.
Stephan Moll of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr.
John Olson of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
for their contributions to the development of the questionnaire. We further
acknowledge the contributions of Mr. Robert Hare of the CDC for preparing
the web-based survey and of Dr. Alfredo Calvillo of the CDC for his
evaluation of the presentation and framing of the questionnaire. Finally, we
express our gratitude to all the participants responding to this survey.