Laboratory medicine : a national status report
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Laboratory medicine : a national status report

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      Although the U.S. ranks highest in per capita health care spending, there is overwhelming evidence of gaps between well-founded standards of care and health care practice. The Institute of Medicine reports, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System (1999) and Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (2001), and other sentinel studies have focused national attention on improving the quality and safety of health care. Stakeholders agree that the quality of care delivered in the U.S. is inadequate and that the organization and delivery of health care must be improved. Given the shortfalls in quality and continued escalation in costs, health care must be assessed continually to inform decision-making, and redesign delivery and incentives as needed, to yield appropriate, high quality care. An integral component of care is laboratory medicine, which extends across research; screening, diagnosis, and treatment; and public health. Appropriate use of laboratory testing is essential for achieving safe, effective, and efficient care to patients. Health care must be informed by data derived from scientific assessment of efficacy and effectiveness of procedures, and must adapt to ongoing changes in science, technology, and practice. Laboratory medicine is not only responding to these changes, but is contributing to them in an environment of demographic, social, and economic change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has commissioned this report to contribute to the groundwork for transforming laboratory medicine over the next decade. CDC charged The Lewin Group, under subcontract to Battelle Memorial Institute, with drafting this document, Laboratory Medicine: A National Status Report. The report examines in detail the key factors affecting the laboratory medicine sector, and is organized into chapters on the following main topics: Value of laboratory medicine • Market profile of the laboratory medicine sector • Laboratory medicine workforce • Quality and the total testing process • Quality systems and performance measurement • Laboratory information systems • Federal regulatory oversight of laboratory medicine • Reimbursement for laboratory medicine Prepared for: Division of Laboratory Systems, National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; prepared by: The Lewin Group under subcontract to Battelle Memorial Institute.
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