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 ENG  Vol.10 No.2 , February 2018
Analysis of Turnaround Time during Casefile and Sample Processing in Forensic Science Laboratory
Abstract: Turnaround time (TAT), is the total time interval from when a request for forensic laboratory analysis is received until when the results are collected by the client. The performance of the forensic science laboratory (FSL) is affected by extended TAT in the case-file and sample processing steps necessitating critical analysis reported in this paper. The total TAT was obtained as the sum of measured time interval for each work station (six of which were studied). Extended TAT leads not only to customer complaints, but also paves way for customers to seek for services from competitors, leading to lost competitive edge for the FSL. This study was conducted to establish the baseline data on TAT (between 2014 and 2015) to enable implementation of corrective actions. Six casefile processing steps were identified for which starting and completion times were recorded in dates, giving TAT values in days. The TAT data for each step was collected as each case file is processed and analyzed separately using statistical analysis while comparing the data for the two years (Y2014 and Y2015) and among three forensic science laboratory disciplines (biology/DNA, chemistry and toxicology). The overall turnaround time (TTAT) was the highest for forensic biology/DNA compared to forensic toxicology and chemistry. The analysis time (TAT2) was the longest of all six case-file processing steps. Using Pareto analysis, the three major steps necessitating root-cause analysis and intervention to minimize TAT were analysis turnaround time (TAT2), report collection time (TAT6) and report review time (TAT4). It was concluded that the causes for extended TAT are within control by the FSL management, although financial and human resources are required.
Cite this paper: Omari, G. , Manyele, S. and Mwaluko, G. (2018) Analysis of Turnaround Time during Casefile and Sample Processing in Forensic Science Laboratory. Engineering, 10, 43-73. doi: 10.4236/eng.2018.102005.
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