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Clinical Diagnosticsborder

Clinical diagnostics refers to both the process of attempting to determine or identify a possible disease or disorder (and diagnosis in this sense can also be termed (medical) diagnostic procedure), and to the opinion reached by this process (also being termed (medical) diagnostic opinion). From the point of view of statistics the diagnostic procedure involves classification tests.

Diagnostic procedures
The diagnostic procedure can be regarded as an attempt at classification of an individual's condition into separate and distinct categories that allow medical decisions about treatment and prognosis to be made. Subsequently, a diagnostic opinion is often described in terms of a disease or other condition, but in the case of a wrong diagnosis, the individual's actual disease or condition is not the same as the individual's diagnosis. A diagnostic procedure may be performed by various health care professionals such as a physician, physical therapist, optometrist, healthcare scientist, chiropractor, dentist, podiatrist, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. A diagnostic procedure does not necessarily involve elucidation of the etiology of the diseases or conditions of interest, that is, what caused the disease or condition. Such elucidation can be useful to optimize treatment, further specify the prognosis or prevent recurrence of the disease or condition in the future.

Diagnostic opinion
It might be a matter of naming the disease, lesion, dysfunction or disability. It might be a management-naming or prognosis-naming exercise. It may indicate either degree of abnormality on a continuum or kind of abnormality in a classification. It’s influenced by non-medical factors such as power, ethics and financial incentives for patient or doctor. It can be a brief summation or an extensive formulation, even taking the form of a story or metaphor. It might be a means of communication such as a computer code through which it triggers payment, prescription, notification, information or advice. It might be pathogenic or salutogenic.