The deployment of information technology in clinical laboratories and its impact on professional roles.
New information technology is deployed in hospital clinical laboratories to increase both the quality and efficiency of laboratory operations. Although total laboratory expenses may rise as a result of technology deployment, the average cost per test may decline. S-curves can be used to illustrate the effects of new information technology--such as a laboratory information system (LIS)--on the useful output and use of resources in laboratories. Major changes are now occurring as a result of the deployment of information technology, most notably in the area of automated information management. The role of laboratory professionals must be modified in response to this new information environment. The generation of information within clinical laboratories should be considered as the beginning--not the end--of the responsibility of laboratory professionals.