November 17 2010 (Wednesday) - Using the Laboratory....




Our clinical director spoke at today's lunchtime session. She based her talk on one she gives to GPs and junior hospital doctors on how best to use the laboratory.  We started off with the role of laboratory medicine, and good and bad ways to use a path lab. Confirmation of diagnosis, ruling out diagnosis, and the need for useful clinical information to be provided were discussed.
We then touched on the various forms of results the lab gives out; wordy descriptive opinions, positives and negatives, and then (what we do mostly) numerical results. We discussed how often reference ranges are rather irrelevent, and the need to spot obvious duff results - clotted samples, drip arms, etc.
In many ways the talk was "back to basics", but that's not always a bad thing...

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