Decision making by pathologists. A strategy for curtailing the number of inappropriate tests

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1982 Feb;106(2):55-6.


Studies indicate that many laboratory tests are performed unnecessarily. We devised a strategy that proved very effective in curtailing unnecessary performance of immunoelectrophoretic analyses, based on the assumption of a decision-making role by the pathologist in rejecting a request for immunoelectrophoresis when serum protein electrophoresis and quantitative immunoglobulin levels are normal. The adoption of this policy resulted in a 67% reduction in the number of immunoelectrophoretic analyses performed in our laboratory. Thus, the assumption of a decision-making role by pathologists can be extremely effective in decreasing the number of inappropriate laboratory tests.

MeSH terms

  • Cost Control / methods
  • Decision Making*
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / standards*
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Hospital Departments / standards*
  • Immunoelectrophoresis*
  • Michigan
  • Pathology Department, Hospital / standards*
  • Pathology, Clinical*