Improving serum calcium test ordering according to a decision algorithm.
J Clin Pathol. 2018 May 18;:
Authors: Faria DK, Taniguchi LU, Fonseca LAM, Ferreira-Junior M, Aguiar FJB, Lichtenstein A, Sumita NM, Duarte AJS, Sales MM
AIM: To detect differences in the pattern of serum calcium tests ordering before and after the implementation of a decision algorithm.
METHODS: We studied patients admitted to an internal medicine ward of a university hospital on April 2013 and April 2016. Patients were classified as critical or non-critical on the day when each test was performed. Adequacy of ordering was defined according to adherence to a decision algorithm implemented in 2014.
RESULTS: Total and ionised calcium tests per patient-day of hospitalisation significantly decreased after the algorithm implementation; and duplication of tests (total and ionised calcium measured in the same blood sample) was reduced by 49%. Overall adequacy of ionised calcium determinations increased by 23% (P=0.0001) due to the increase in the adequacy of ionised calcium ordering in non-critical conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: A decision algorithm can be a useful educational tool to improve adequacy of the process of ordering serum calcium tests.
PMID: 29776972 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]