Addressing Diagnostic Error
How can we harmonize testing to prevent laboratory-related diagnostic errors?
Greg Miller |
Harmonization of laboratory test results is one of the most pressing issues in laboratory medicine – around 40 percent of medical encounters are informed by laboratory tests and pathology consultations. The landmark 1999 report from the US Institute of Medicine “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System” emphasized the importance of clinical practice guidelines to standardize decisions and treatments. Using guidelines was not new in 1999 but has assumed increasing importance in the practice of medicine. A 2015 follow up report from the Institute “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care” again emphasized the importance of guidelines and stressed that cooperation among the health care team, including laboratory professionals is essential to reduce diagnostic errors.
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