ABSTRACT: Recent automation in clinical laboratories affords healthcare providers with numerous options in terms of physiological tests. However, the role of the clinical laboratory in the field of equilibrium functional tests is not clearly defined. Therefore, we conducted a questionnaire survey to define the role of clinical laboratories in general hospitals. We present the results of our investigation and the approach employed by the clinical laboratory of our hospital. Rates of healthcare providers desiring the conduct of equilibrium functional tests by clinical laboratories were 78% and 70% in otolaryngology and neurosurgery departments, respectively; moreover, 92% of technologists from clinical laboratories responded that an equilibrium functional test can be performed upon request. Furthermore, 84% of clinical laboratory staff members and 77% of staff from neurosurgery departments agreed that implementation of a system allowing each department to request equilibrium functional tests from the clinical laboratories is necessary. This finding was indicative of the high demand for equilibrium functional tests by clinical laboratories. Therefore, equilibrium functional tests offered by clinical laboratories not only reduce the workload of the otolaryngology department, but also result in a major contribution with respect to management of the entire hospital in terms of high quality examination findings and allocation of healthcare providers in other departments.
Rinsho byori. The Japanese journal of clinical pathology 11/2005; 53(10):887-97.