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Evidence-Based Laboratory Medicine by Lothar Thomas, Christian Thomas

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is a method for solving problems concerning the assessment of laboratory testing in patient care. Practising EBM involves the use of the available evidence to make health care decisions. The best way to practice EBM is the development, validation and implementation of guidelines. Guidelines are considered as the process by which healthcare research and experience are translated into improved patient care. In laboratory diagnostics EBM can be best demonstrated in high-prevalence conditions. Because of the number of patients encountered, high-prevalence conditions have a greater impact on patient morbidity and health care expenditure. In evidence-based laboratory medicine the best evidence comes from systematic reviewing studies of diagnostic tests. The reviewing of diagnostic trials and the development of good practice guidelines on the basis of these studies must be an important task of the scientifïc associations of clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 2001;47:479-482