Informal test-ordering protocols that do not follow a physiological rationale are common in teaching hospitals and represent part of the folklore of resident practice. Such faulty test-ordering routines increase the cost of care, waste resources, may fail to answer diagnostic questions, or may generate false leads. They prove to be part of a broader set of issues in information management not restricted to medicine. Clinically appropriate algorithms for diagnostic testing can be constructed to replace folkloric protocols. This should represent a major area of professional concern in clinical pathology.
Wong ET, Lincoln TL. Ready! Fire!... Aim! An Inquiry Into Laboratory Test Ordering. JAMA. 1983;250(18):2510–2513. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340180064031
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