In Search of Laboratory Excellence
In recent years the attention of many laboratory professionals has focussed on cost containment and improving analytical performance. In the United States the introduction of reimbursement to hospitals by the Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG) system has forced a drastic reappraisal of the cost of laboratory tests. Although less dramatic, the ever increasing constraints on laboratory budgets in other countries has had a similar effect. The laboratory obsession with analytical accuracy and precision has been another area of constant propaganda with the continued cry that analyses performed by non-laboratory personnel on equipment outside the laboratory are not so accurate or precise. This has often ignored the great advantages to the clinician and patient of having a rapid result, even though it may not be as reliable as that produced by the laboratory. It seems an appropriate time therefore to examine the role of the laboratory and of the Head of Department in the provision of health care, and to define those factors that contribute to laboratory excellence.
KeywordsClinical Staff Diagnosis Related Group Laboratory Staff Rapid Result Laboratory Professional
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