OPINIONI - Opinions
Biochimica Clinica 2012; 36(1) 29-32
Funzioni e compiti del laboratorio nell’ospedale moderno: alcune considerazioni 40 anni dopo
Diagnostica e Ricerca San Raffaele, Istituto Scientifico Universitario San Raffaele, Milano
Functions and tasks of the clinical laboratory in the modern hospital: some thoughts 40 years later.
This paper comments the document prepared by Giovanni Ceriotti and Carlo Riga as opening lecture of the 2nd SIBioC Congress held in Padua in May 1972.Some key messages of that document still remain actual 40 years later: the central role of the medical laboratory for the clinical diagnosis, its essential support to the evidence-based medicine, and its pivotal function in the progress of medicine, being the privileged site for what we now call “translational research”. Unfortunately, the realization of some aspects, that were seen as ready to start in the ‘70s, is still under development nowadays. In particular, the result standardization is still far from a capillary implementation. Moreover, despite its enormous development in terms of number and types of performed tests, the clinical laboratory did not appear to assume the importance that was foreseen 40 years ago and seems to loose attractive for the new generations of students and graduates. Clinical laboratory professionals, driven by economic pressure and the enormous development of technology, seemed to dedicate more attention and efforts to organizational aspects, productivity and automation than to clinical research, clinical consultation and analytical quality, thus reducing the role of laboratory in clinical research and consequently its actracting power for young scientists.