Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)
Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)
Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario
Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R.
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Quality of interpretative commenting on common clinical chemistry results in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa
1Department of Core Clinical Pathology and Biochemistry, PathWest Laboratory Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia
2School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia
3Gleneagles Intan Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4Department of Laboratory Medicine, National University Health System, Singapore
5Department of Biomedical Sciences, MAHSA University College, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
6Melbourne Pathology, Collingwood, Australia
Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 47, Issue 8, Pages 963–970, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2009.225, July 2009
- Published Online:
Background: Interpretative commenting is an important activity of the clinical diagnostic laboratory. We describe a study of interpretative commenting abilities among senior laboratory professionals in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa.
Methods: Five sets of laboratory results reflecting common and important problems encountered in clinical chemistry were distributed at 4-weekly intervals to 31 registered participants from countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. Participants were asked to attach an interpretative comment to the results assuming that the requesting doctor had asked for an interpretation of the result.
Results: Twelve pathologists and 19 scientists from seven countries registered to participate and the overall reply rate was ∼50% for the five cases. The quality of the comments returned by participants was diverse and some reflected incorrect or misleading interpretation and advice.
Conclusions: While interpretative commenting is an important laboratory activity, the results of this study suggest that there is room for improvement in the quality of interpretative comments offered by senior laboratory professionals, even for commonly reported results relating to most prevalent and important public health conditions. Interpretative commenting should be formally taught during training of pathologists and scientists, and continuing professional development in this area is required for the provision of a quality interpretative service.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:963–70.
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