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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Penna

The Importance of Pathology Testing

Updated: May 31, 2022

According to the National Coalition of Public Pathology, there are many advantages of pathology testing. It is an important tool which allows your Practitioner to identify disease and the general health of your body. Pathology services lie at the heart of health care services provided to patients and the community. They underpin the quality and cost effectiveness of health care.

  • Pathology is a clinical knowledge service that is fundamental to modern medical practice and health care.

  • Pathology is used in the diagnosis, treatment and management of an increasing range of clinical conditions.

  • Pathology investigations are an integral part of the clinical consultation and procedural process with overseas studies indicating that 70-­‐80 percent of all health care decisions affecting diagnosis or treatment involve a pathology investigation. (1)

  • Pathology is essential to the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of many of the leading causes of disease burden in Australia – e.g. cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

  • In the general practice setting, the BEACH Study of General Practice Activity of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports that pathology testing is ordered at one in every five patient visits.

  • The BEACH study also indicates that, in the Australian primary care setting, 40% of pathology testing is used for diagnostic purposes, 40% for monitoring and 20% for preventative purposes.

(1) UK Department of Health (2010) Report of the Second Phase of the Independent Review of NHS Pathology Services in England. Chaired by Lord Carter of Coles. An Independent Review for the Department of Health. Forsman FW (1996) Why is the laboratory an afterthought for managed care organisations? Clinical Chemistry 42: 5 813-­‐816.

Source: National Coalition of Public Pathology


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