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May 25, 1994

Beat the Système

Author Affiliations

Southern California Permanente Medical Group Woodland Hills

JAMA. 1994;271(20):1626. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510440088046

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Americans are frequently thought by our neighbors in the global village to have an aversion to changes in units of measurement. After 100 years, we still have not converted to the metric system, while the rest of the world rushes on with this lingua franca of commerce. And so it is in the world of clinical laboratory measurement.

While many of the world's clinical laboratories and clinicians use the Système International (SI), we in this country are still using "conventional" measurements. However, expressing units on a molar rather than a weight basis is thought to be more correct. Many journals, including JAMA, request study results to be reported in SI, although some have retreated from the stance of "SI only."

For those clinicians who wish quick conversion between SI and conventional units, there's Beat the Système. This is a low-priced, simple, no-nonsense conversion program that runs under Microsoft Windows. It

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