Medical Laboratory Test SENSITIVITY “versus” SPECIFICITY

Obvious Covid-19 Implications

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CPHQ, CMP

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We’ve discussed biologic false positives and false negatives before on this ME-P.

LINK: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2019/09/14/what-are-false-positive-and-false-negative-tests/

Courtesy: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

So, now is the time to discuss and conquer the medical laboratory concepts of Sensitivity and Specificity.

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Sensitivity and specificity are statistical measures of the performance of a binary classification test, also known in statistics as a classification function, that are widely used in medicine.

LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Insurance-Managed-Care/dp/0826149944/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275315485&sr=1-4

  • Sensitivity (also called the true positive rate, the recall, or probability of detection in some fields) measures the proportion of actual positives that are correctly identified as such (e.g., the percentage of sick people who are correctly identified as having the condition).
  • Specificity (also called the true negative rate) measures the proportion of actual negatives that are correctly identified as such (e.g., the percentage of healthy people who are correctly identified as not having the condition).

LINK: https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-sensitivity-and-vs-specificity/

NOTE: The terms “positive” and “negative” don’t refer to the value of the condition of interest, but to its presence or absence; the condition itself could be a disease, so that “positive” might mean “diseased”, while “negative” might mean “healthy”.

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And so, colleague Michael Lawrence Langan MD opines on a much deeper level.

ESSAY: https://disruptedphysician.blog/2016/11/19/diagnostic-testing-101-1-the-importance-of-sensitivity-specificity-and-diagnostic-test-accuracy-5/

Assessment: Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

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THANK YOU

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