Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.—I first learned of the 2 articles on physicians' office laboratory testing1,2 via the lay press (in this case, the Chattanooga Times). The headline implied that patients receive inferior care if laboratory services were performed in physicians' offices, when in fact the purpose of the 2 articles was to assess the accuracy of proficiency testing (PT) at various sites. Although PT is a valuable tool in maintaining quality results, it is only a small part of a total quality control program. Quality control for the laboratory begins with test ordering and includes many steps until the desired test results are reviewed by the ordering caregiver.
Huffstutter JE. Accuracy of Physicians' Office Laboratory Results. JAMA. 1998;280(2):129-132. doi:10.1001/jama.280.2.129