Effectiveness of minimum retesting intervals in managing repetitive laboratory testing: experience from a Croatian university hospital.
Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2019 Oct 15;29(3):030705
Authors: Lapić I, Rogić D, Fuček M, Galović R
Introduction: Inappropriate laboratory retesting can be addressed by implementing minimum retesting intervals (MRI). The aim of our study was to assess the effectiveness of the implemented MRI protocol for inpatients.
Materials and methods: Minimum retesting intervals were applied for 53 laboratory tests. The overall reduction of test requests, reduction in charges and reagent cost savings, frequency of MRI alert appearance as well as the rate of MRI acceptance and ignorance were calculated for a one-year period. Reasons for violating the MRI rule, hospital departments that contributed mostly to MRI rule violation, and the frequency of MRI violations between routine and emergency laboratory were evaluated.
Results: During the one-year period, 106,780 requests violated the MRI rule, which corresponds to 14.8% of all requests received. 13,843 requests were cancelled, yielding a 1.9% reduction of requested tests. High-volume tests, namely complete blood count, C-reactive protein, alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltransferase and total bilirubin, accounted for 65% of all generated alerts and had the highest alert ignorance (>85%). The highest cancellation rate was observed for tumor markers and autoimmunity tests, for most being at least 50%. Annual charge reduction was 62,641 EUR while reagent cost savings were 11,408 EUR. Tests performed in the emergency laboratory had a higher alert appearance than the same routine tests. The most common reason for MRI violation was clinical justification based on the patient's condition. Most frequently ignored MRI alerts were in the intensive care unit.
Conclusion: MRI implementation showed limited effectiveness in reducing testing repetition and achieving financial savings, yet provided the basis for future improvements.
PMID: 31624458 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]