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Cost containment, quality assurance, and physician microscopy of cerebrospinal fluid with normal cell counts. Analysis of 1,677 consecutive specimens

Cost containment, quality assurance, and physician microscopy of cerebrospinal fluid with normal cell counts. Analysis of 1,677 consecutive specimens

American Journal of Clinical Pathology 94(1): 67-72

During a six-month interval, 1,677 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens with cell counts of 0 to 5 .times. 106/L were examined by one of six physician microscopists. Malignant cells were found in ten of these CSF specimens. In seven, unidentified cells had been noted on prior review by a technologist. Technologists had a frequency of false negative errors of 0.12%. Physicians had a frequency of apparent false positive errors of 0.12%. There is little or no benefit from physician microscopic examination of all CSF specimens that have normal cell counts. Adoption of a different policy would reduce medical care costs by .apprx.40,000 for this entire series of 1,677 specimens without adversely affecting the quality of laboratory results.

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Accession: 007165533

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2360565

DOI: 10.1093/ajcp/94.1.67

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