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December 1974

Utilization of Clinical Chemistry Services by Medical House Staff: An Analysis

Author Affiliations

From the Medical Service, Durham Veterans Administration Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(6):1064-1067. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320240098012

The purpose of this study was to analyze the utilization of clinical chemistry services by a medical house staff. The percentage of laboratory data that is actually used in diagnosis and treatment of patients is low (5%). This percentage can be significantly increased when greater selectivity is required prior to ordering blood chemistry tests. A close relationship existed between the percentage of abnormal test results and the number of test results significant to patient care. This relationship should be useful in assessing the effectiveness with which a house officer uses the chemistry laboratory. We suggest that greater teaching emphasis should be placed on the patient care-laboratory interface of house staff training.