Description: This second volume in the Diagnostic Standards of Care series focuses on clinical microbiology.
Purpose: The purpose of the series is to educate readers about commonly encountered errors in ordering clinical laboratory tests or interpreting results, and thereby how to avoid related adverse patient outcomes. This book focuses on errors involving the clinical microbiology laboratory.
Audience: This book was written for anyone involved with clinical laboratory testing from those who order and use test results for patient management, to those who produce results, to healthcare administrators who want to gain an understanding of how incorrect use of the clinical laboratory contributes to adverse patient outcomes, operational inefficiencies, and increased costs. The author is a well-respected and internationally renowned clinical microbiologist.
Features: This seemingly small paperback packs a wallop with information direct and right to the point on how common errors contribute to adverse patient outcomes. The format is identical to its precursor (which focused on errors related to coagulation testing), lending a nice sense of continuity. This book is divided into errors occurring at the common points in laboratory testing preanalytical, analytical and postanalytical. Ironically, the largest section focuses on preanalytical error. Illustrative cases of errors or averted errors (some chilling) are presented. The final chapter discusses a solution used by the author the "diagnostic management team" to proactively prevent these common errors. What I really like about this book are the crystal-clear, riveting case presentations and tight linkage with error identification. Another very valuable piece is the summary at the end of each chapter, "Standards of care," that are pearls of wisdom. The only weakness of this book is that it leaves readers wanting more, but more would defeat the hard-hitting impact the book has that is attributable to its very terseness and conciseness.
Assessment: Great book. Get it. For that matter, get the series.