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Laboratory Tests

Thomas A. Peterman, MD
JAMA. 1982;248(1):29. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330010013007.
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To the Editor.—  I agree with the statement in the recent article by Wanger and Domen (1982;247:1119) that physicians often overuse the clinical laboratory. Many of us in our department are also quite concerned about this. For example, we have recently examined the use of the routine "admission battery" in this hospital as a part of our own costawareness survey. In this study, the internal medicine faculty, house staff, and students were asked which tests they thought would be appropriate to include on an admission screening examination. Of 30 tests currently ordered by one service, there were nine that fewer than 25% of the respondents would order. The department is now in the process of eliminating these from the admission battery. In addition, the faculty is evaluating seven other tests, many of which will be dropped.The clinical laboratory is, indeed, playing an increasingly important, yet frequently misused, role in


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