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Lab Tests Key to Identifying, Treating Infectious Diseases

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A new guide developed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will help physicians appropriately and accurately use laboratory tests for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. Laboratory test results drive approximately two-thirds of physicians' medical decisions.

Published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the recommendations provide guidance regarding which lab tests are valuable and should be used in specific contexts; which add little or no value; and how to appropriately collect and manage specimens.

Laboratory diagnoses directly affect patient care and outcomes, as well as hospital infection control, patients' length of stay in the hospital, costs and laboratory efficiency.

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