GEORGE A. GOLDBERG, M.D.; JOSEPH A. ABBOTT, M.D., F.A.C.P.
To the editor: Several studies have pointed out or implied overuse of laboratory tests by physicians (1-3). However, such overuse has not been defined objectively or demonstrated explicitly. Therefore, we tested the application of an objective method (4) to evaluate laboratory test misuse. We focused on the digoxin assay, preset explicit criteria for an acceptable pattern of ordering and using this single test, and measured physician performance against these criteria at San Francisco General Hospital.
Specific criteria defining acceptability both for ordering a digoxin assay and for acting upon an abnormal result were developed by faculty and ratified by house
GOLDBERG GA, ABBOTT JA. Explicit Criteria for Use of Laboratory Tests. Ann Intern Med. ;81:857–858. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-81-6-857
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1974;81(6):857-858.
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