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Interpretive comments on clinical biochemistry reports
  1. I S Young
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor I S Young
 Department of Medicine, Wellcome Research Laboratories, Mulhouse Building, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ, UK;

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The need for quality assurance

In the February issue of the journal, Sandle discussed current practice and future challenges in the management of external quality assurance in relation to clinical biochemistry, highlighting the need for an audit cycle of continuous improvement.1 One of the important areas touched upon was the quality assurance of interpretive comments on biochemistry reports; it was suggested that in the future individual participation in external quality assurance schemes of interpretive comments “may become a contractual rather than a professional obligation”.

There is wide variation internationally and within the UK with regard to the extent to which individualised narrative interpretive comments are provided on biochemistry reports. Most biochemistry reports leave the laboratory without comment, or with only computer generated comments according to predetermined rules. However, the provision of individualised narrative comments on at least some biochemistry reports is part of routine practice in many laboratories. …

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