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The Clinical Laboratory: Cost Benefit and Effectiveness

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Harvard Medical School, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Ann Intern Med. 1971;75(2):309-310. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-75-2-309
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In the last twenty years there has been an enormous expansion of the clinical laboratory segment of medical care. This has come about not only by the addition of new methods but also by a markedly increased use of the laboratory. Have the added activity and cost generated been associated with a commensurate benefit to the patient or with more effective care? Answering this question is possible: measurements of cost benefit and effectiveness are rapidly becoming standard procedure in industry and government. Industry uses these measurements to guide management in decisions on capital expenditure and various production methods (1). Government


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