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October 21, 1968

Accentuate the Positive: A Display System for Clinical Laboratory Data

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering; and the departments of physiology and biophysics, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.

JAMA. 1968;206(4):836-838. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150040048011

Technological advances supply physicians with progressively increasing quantities of numerical data from laboratory tests performed on samples of blood and other fluids obtained from patients. If laboratory testing is comprehensive, abnormal values occur rarely in relation to the total quantity of information reported. Thus, the values which vary significantly from normal are buried in a mass of redundant data. Quantitative data regarding patients should be presented to physicians by techniques which emphasize abnormality, suppress redundancy, and reduce the need for mental computations or guesswork about their significance.