Comparative Study of the Physician Specialty and Laboratory Services Requested for Patients with COVID-19: Evidence from a Large Hospital

Document Type : Original Article (s)


Background: In order to timely identify and treat the patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the use of rapid and accurate laboratory diagnostic methods is important, and tests such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), complete blood count (CBC), C-reactive protein (CRP), arterial blood gas (ABG), and real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are helpful in assessing patient's condition and diagnosing the disease. This was a comparative study of the physician specialty and laboratory services requested for patients with COVID-19 based on the evidence from a large hospital."
Methods: This was a descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study in Mashhad City, Iran, on 307 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized under the management of internal and infectious therapist groups, selected using random stratified sampling method. Data were entered into SPSS version 22 statistical software.
Results: A statistically significant relationship was reported between the two groups of internal and infectious therapists in the capitation and cost of K, Na, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), blood albumin (Alb), bilirubin (Bili), blood sugar (BS), fasting blood sugar (FBS), Ca, Mg, phosphorus (Pho), treponema pallidum immobilization (TPI), CBC, CBC differential (CBC/Diff), and ABG tests, and tracheal tube culture and antibiogram. Patients were discharged with 89.7% recovery and 10.3% death in the first group, and with 95.5% recovery and 4.5% death in the second group.
Conclusion: Different behavioral patterns in prescribing and performing laboratory services by physicians with different specialties, especially in times of epidemic outbreaks, may indicate the lack of national laboratory protocol and also limited access to reliable diagnostic tests, while wasting resources, impose direct and indirect costs to patients and medical centers.


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