Pathologists’ 70% claim

The relatively small amount of money spent on pathology services undoubtedly has disproportionate leverage on further medical care. Pathologists often claim that 70% of clinical decisions are influenced by laboratory medicine data.

Where did this figure come from and what does it mean exactly? Mike Hallworth has written a paper questioning the origins and meaning of this oft-repeated claim.

But the 70% claim has no cartel, no legislation, no marketing, no peer-pressure, or weltanschauung behind it.

Just pathologists seeking wider understanding of what they do in busy, unglamorous labs and, increasingly, call-centre-inspired open plan offices.

The author says, “Until a better evidence base is available, use of the various ‘70% claims’ should be resisted in favour of more specific and evidence-based indices of added value.”

Would that similar critical thinking were applied to the claims of accreditation!

"Worra you looking so smug about, Doc?"

The ‘70% claim’: what is the evidence base?  Ann Clin Biochem  November 2011 48:487—488; doi:10.1258/acb.2011.011177.

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