What is a Turnaround Document?

Turnaround Document

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Turnaround Document

A turnaround document is a document that has been produced by a computer system and is subsequently used as a source document for further data input into the same or another system. It’s a method of ensuring that data that’s output from a computer system is then used for subsequent processes without unnecessary manual data entry or potential errors from re-entering data.

The turnaround document often has certain sections designed to be read by machines (such as bar codes or OCR-readable characters) to facilitate this process.

Example of a Turnaround Document

Let’s consider a healthcare scenario involving patient lab results:

WellCare Hospital (a fictitious healthcare institution) frequently conducts lab tests for its patients. When patients undergo tests, their results are typically printed on standardized forms and mailed to them. These forms not only inform patients of their results but also act as turnaround documents when patients visit their doctors.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Lab Test & Result Generation: A patient, Mr. Johnson, visits WellCare Hospital for a routine blood test. After the test is done, the laboratory processes the sample and generates results using their computer system.
  2. Lab Result Document: The lab result is printed on a standardized form. This form contains:
    • Patient’s name and ID number
    • Date of the test
    • Specific tests conducted
    • The results of the tests
    • A barcode or QR code that encodes the patient’s ID and test details
    The form is mailed to Mr. Johnson so he can review his results.
  3. Doctor’s Visit: After receiving and reviewing his lab results, Mr. Johnson visits his primary care doctor to discuss them. He brings along the printed lab result form.
  4. Processing at the Doctor’s Office: Instead of manually inputting the details of Mr. Johnson’s lab results, the nurse or doctor scans the barcode or QR code on the form. This action:
    • Instantly pulls up Mr. Johnson’s electronic medical record.
    • Allows the doctor to access the detailed lab results from the hospital’s system.
    The doctor can now easily review and discuss the results with Mr. Johnson without needing to re-enter data or risk potential data entry errors.
  5. Further Actions: Based on the lab results, the doctor might prescribe medications, recommend further tests, or provide health advice. The turnaround document (lab result form) facilitated a smooth and error-free transition of data between the patient, the laboratory, and the doctor.

In this example, the hospital effectively uses a turnaround document (the lab result form with a barcode or QR code) to simplify and speed up the process of accessing patient test data during doctor visits. The system ensures accuracy and efficiency, enhancing patient care.

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