Document Detail

How physicians use laboratory tests.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  628059     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The aim of our study was to measure the ways in which a physician perceives and reacts to a laboratory result. After reviewing a series of brief clinical problems, physicians were asked to indicate the change in test results that would alter the diagnosis or treatment. Although there were wide differences in attitudes, the pattern of responses from 125 internists offered estimates of what is a clinically important change. In selected clinical settings, the change in successive measurements chosen with the greatest frequency as indicators of a clinically important change in level were glucose, 35 mg/dl; BUN, 6 mg/dl; serum sodium, 4 to 6 mEq/liter; serum potassium, 4 to 6 mEq/liter; uric acid, 8 mg/dl; creatinine, 0.4 mg/dl; serum calcium, 4 to 5 mg/dl; triglycerides, 20 mg/dl; hemoglobin, 1 g/dl; and serum osmolality, 11 mOsm/kg. The responses were compared with estimates of laboratory precision drawn from a national quality control program. The quality of laboratory testing was rated as satisfactory for clinical use in four of five clinical settings. The study points out the need to correlate the activities in the clinical laboratory with the application of test results in the care of patients.
L P Skendzel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  JAMA     Volume:  239     ISSN:  0098-7484     ISO Abbreviation:  JAMA     Publication Date:  1978 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1978-04-26     Completed Date:  1978-04-26     Revised Date:  2014-09-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501160     Medline TA:  JAMA     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1077-80     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Attitude of Health Personnel*
Clinical Laboratory Techniques* / standards
Laboratories / standards*
Quality Control
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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