Description: A volume in the Diagnostic Standards of Care series, this book focuses on clinical chemistry. Previous volumes have focused on coagulation, transfusion medicine, laboratory management, and clinical microbiology.
Purpose: The purpose of this book (and series) is to learn from errors, in particular how to avoid similar situations in the future. These are very worthy objectives for this series, once again well met by this book.
Audience: The book is written for anyone interested in learning from prior errors in laboratory medicine, with a particular focus on the clinical chemistry laboratory. This includes (by definition) all pathology and/or laboratory medicine students or practitioners. Nurses, physicians reliant on laboratory results in their daily practice, other allied health practitioners, and information systems analysts would also be interested.
Features: I must admit to great enjoyment each time I receive a new book in this series. This book upholds the strong quality and standards of previous volumes. While there is a focus on clinical chemistry, the discussion of pre- and post-analytical errors is applicable to any section of the laboratory. I love the format punchy, to the point, emphatic, no frills, just the facts. The style is standardized in all the books: each chapter has multiple concise pithy examples of "case with error," followed by "explanation and consequences" and ending with author commentary. The chapter on laboratory information systems (LIS) was informative. Who would have thought "too big" would be the default display in the electronic medical record because the lab result exceeded the number of allowable digits? Or would know about the LIS problems with generating two original lab reports for two different physicians since the LIS is configured to designate only one person as the primary care provider? Since this is focused on clinical chemistry, there is the expected wealth of errors which have (and can still) occur in this technical specialty area. Overall, this is another superb contribution to this series. And it's so small and riveting/engaging you can (and will) read it in one sitting (because you can't put it down).
Assessment: This packs a wallop of helpful information. Get it. Learn from the errors of others without having to directly suffer the consequences yourself.