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Why Do Physicians Order Laboratory Tests?

Why Do Physicians Order Laboratory Tests? THE NUMBER of clinical laboratory tests performed has increased greatly in recent years in nearly all health centers in the United States. This rise in laboratory use has been a major factor contributing to escalating health care costs.1 The need for so large a number of laboratory tests has quite reasonably been questioned.2 Several authors3-6 have offered reasons for the increased number of tests. These include overzealous documentation, medicolegal considerSee also p 2053. ations, building of a personal data base, public relations, and profit, in addition to valid clinical indications. Little hard data are available in print to document why physicians order laboratory tests or to indicate what percentage of tests is ordered for the various reasons cited.5-7 This study collected such information by asking physicians directly why they ordered laboratory tests and whether and how the results influenced their diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. Methods The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Why Do Physicians Order Laboratory Tests?

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1980 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1980.03300460054033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE NUMBER of clinical laboratory tests performed has increased greatly in recent years in nearly all health centers in the United States. This rise in laboratory use has been a major factor contributing to escalating health care costs.1 The need for so large a number of laboratory tests has quite reasonably been questioned.2 Several authors3-6 have offered reasons for the increased number of tests. These include overzealous documentation, medicolegal considerSee also p 2053. ations, building of a personal data base, public relations, and profit, in addition to valid clinical indications. Little hard data are available in print to document why physicians order laboratory tests or to indicate what percentage of tests is ordered for the various reasons cited.5-7 This study collected such information by asking physicians directly why they ordered laboratory tests and whether and how the results influenced their diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. Methods The

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: May 23, 1980

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