Chapter 50 : The Future Practice of Laboratory Medicine

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This chapter explores the future practice of laboratory medicine against the background of a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Despite the decline in the number of separate laboratory medicine departments, the laboratory medicine tradition of serious attention to the research and teaching aspects of the discipline continues in several combined departments. The reaction to the changes that have occurred in the healthcare environment in recent years is essentially twofold: increased efforts to contain costs and increased public demand for appropriate and error-free medical care. Although total elimination of error is unrealistic, decreases in error comparable to those in many industries are now being viewed as within the range of a number of medical services, including laboratory medicine. The report emphasized that if residency programs were to be successful in training residents to serve as credible and useful consultants to clinicians, clinical pathology faculty would have to devise effective ways of teaching test strategy and interpretation. In recent years, individual case reports and series of cases have given way to more scientifically rigorous clinical trials providing the most recent and reliable information, thereby providing the physician with the tools to practice evidence-based medicine.

Citation: Burke M. 2004. The Future Practice of Laboratory Medicine, p 808-814. In Garcia L, Baselski V, Burke M, Schwab D, Sewell D, Steele J, Weissfeld A, Wilkinson D, Winn W (ed), Clinical Laboratory Management. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817695.ch50
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