Support Tests.

robert bell rmsbell200 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jan 24 21:55:42 UTC 2016


I have suggested that at the same time, or even before we tackle Errors in Diagnosis, we see that all our support diagnostic tests (Lab, X-ray, etc.) are in good order so as to help make the correct diagnoses more often.

I have been made aware that it is easy to miss a low but rising PSA in someone who has had a past radical prostatectomy.

The Lab reports results as ng/mL with a reference range of (0.000 - 4.000). The range for someone with a prostate present. 

I asked myself with all the technology is there anything that could be done to prevent such happenings?

And then I thought there must be 100s of similar situations when time, disease, surgery, treatments, etc effect lab interpretations - the PSA lab reports on the ones I have seen do not mention that the ranges are for someone with a prostate. Should they?

Yes, good clinical skills would help but could the lab with or without technology do anything to help avoid such problems?  Could training or anything else help prevent?

I wondered how often this happens - and if you decided to do something about it, could you triage it - presumably not without good error data!?

Robert Bell









Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


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