Patient Reception, Preparation, Specimen Handling and Data Flow
There are many reasons why clinicians require test results on the body fluids of their patients. They may be to confirm a tentative diagnosis, to help solve differential diagnostic problems, to monitor therapy, to assess prognosis, to screen for latent disease, or to use for an epidemiological programme, for research or for teaching. Decentralized testing may be used for any of these. If a test result is to be of value it must be free from error and ambiguity. If it is likely to be affected by any factors or conditions to which the patient or specimen has been subjected before analysis these factors must be taken into careful consideration before a result is accepted and in the interpretation of the results.
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