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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is the third volume in a series on clinical diagnostic technology, focusing on the postanalytical phase.
Purpose: This series' objective is to provide a "big picture" of clinical laboratory testing. This volume's purpose is to address important issues in the postanalytical phase. These are worthy objectives, as these issues are fundamental to the clinical laboratory's operations, and this book nicely meets them.
Audience: Anyone interested in any aspect of clinical laboratory testing would be interested in this series. This volume in particular would appeal to the "usual" audience of healthcare providers of all disciplines, as well as developers and vendors of Laboratory Information Systems (LISs), electronic medical records (EMRs), healthcare administrators (hospital, corporate, government) and policymakers.
Features: Wow, what an eye-opener of a book. Just when you think you might have a handle on running a clinical laboratory, this book comes around and opens your eyes to the many postanalytical phase issues you've been meaning to deal with but never had the time. Now is the time because now you've got the tool. The authors, all authorities in their subject areas, illuminate and clearly define common postanalytical issues. There are only eight chapters, and each is sublime. The first chapter on quality systems could stand alone as a primer on "how to do it right." The chapter on postanalytical data review, among it many highlights, will help you do "autoverification" correctly. The chapter on electronic health information networks nicely summarizes the area and delineates well the technological issues currently between LISs and EMRs. The final chapter on the "Vision" of where clinical laboratories will evolve is truly evocative and thought provoking. All of the chapters are expertly written, cover timely topics, and are full of invaluable information.
Assessment: This volume is a must-have for senior level laboratorians. This is the book you must take with you to administration (hospital, corporate, other) meetings, as it clearly and concisely makes your argument for why you have to have what you need.