The costs of a clinical chemistry laboratory in a district general hospital were studied. The system used has certain advantages over the conventional Cooper Lybrand method. The time taken by technicians to perform tests was more variable than expected and the cost of sample collection was higher than process-cost for many tests. Indirect costs (overheads) were greater than direct costs and there were potential economies of scale. The most time-consuming part of this study was collecting the cost of chemicals and other disposables.
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