House Officer-Driven Reduction in Laboratory Utilization.
South Med J. 2016 Jan;109(1):5-10
Authors: Tawfik B, Collins JB, Fino NF, Miller DP
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether sharing laboratory charge and personal utilization information with physicians can reduce laboratory test orders and expenditures, thereby decreasing the overutilization of laboratory testing.
METHODS: This was a prospective study. By querying our electronic medical records, we calculated the median laboratory charges per patient/per day (PP/PD) and median laboratory tests ordered PP/PD for the resident general internal medicine and hospitalist services. For 10 weeks, we shared this team-based information with physicians with weekly updates. We calculated total laboratory charges for the 10 most common discharge diagnoses to capture laboratory charges for entire episodes of care.
RESULTS: During the intervention, the mean number of laboratory tests ordered PP/PD by resident service decreased from 5.56 to 5.17 (-0.389, P <0.001); the mean charge PP/PD decreased from $488 to $461 (-$27, P < 0.001). The hospitalist service decreased the number of laboratory tests ordered PP/PD from 3.54 to 3.36 (-0.18, P = 0.77) and the mean charge PP/PD decreased from $331 to $301 (-$30, P = 0.96). The statistically significant decline in laboratory charges persisted after controlling for the 10 most common discharge diagnoses. Compared with the 3-month period before the study began, physicians in the 10-week intervention period ordered 1464 fewer laboratory tests, resulting in a $188,000 reduction in charges and a 3% to 4% reduction in utilization.
CONCLUSIONS: Informing physicians of the charges for laboratory tests and their personal utilization patterns can reduce the number of laboratory tests ordered and laboratory expenditures, especially for physicians in training.
PMID: 26741863 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]