Moving towards harmonized reporting of serum and urine protein electrophoresis

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During the last decade, surveys by questionnaire in Canada, Australia and New Zealand revealed wide variation in reporting practices by laboratories and individual practitioners in the interpretation of serum and urine protein electrophoresis (PE). Such variation has potential to adversely impact patient outcomes if report structure is inconsistent or if the messaging is incorrectly perceived by the receiving physician. Concerted efforts have been initiated to promote harmonization in the use of interpretative comments. The primary goal is to add value through clear communication with requesting physicians in the interest of quality patient care. Resistance to a harmonized approach largely reflects longstanding personal reporting habits and preferences but change can be more readily embraced if the new system is intuitive, easy to use and saves time in reporting.

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