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December 16, 1998

Changing Physician Behavior in Ordering Diagnostic Tests

Author Affiliations

Dr Lundberg is Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 1998;280(23):2036. doi:10.1001/jama.280.23.2036

Is it possible to change the behavior of physicians ordering diagnostic tests? The answer is yes. Is it difficult? Yes, in general, but it is easy to do if approached the right way. Although most people and organizations seem to not even try, those that do try often fail usually because they don't do it the right way. Physicians' behavior about ordering diagnostic tests can be changed if the laboratory director can confidently conjure up the wisdom about what to do, manifest the courage to do it, and sustain the backing of the organization's power structure.

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