Improving Healthcare Value: Effectiveness of a Program to Reduce Laboratory Testing for Non-Critically-Ill Patients With COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

J Hosp Med. 2021 Jul 21. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3649. Online ahead of print.


Avoiding routine, repetitive inpatient laboratory testing is a Choosing Wisely® recommendation, with benefits that may be even more pronounced in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic, considering the need to limit unnecessary exposure, use of personal protective equipment, and laboratory resources. However, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique challenge: how to efficiently develop and standardize care for a disease process that had yet to be fully characterized. This article describes the development of a local committee to critically review evidence-based practices, reach consensus, and guide practice patterns, with the aim of delivering high-value care. Following the local introduction of recommendations and electronic health record order sets, non-critically-ill COVID-19 patients at our hospital had more inpatient days where they did not receive laboratory tests, achieving sustained special cause variation on statistical process control charts. The principles of Choosing Wisely® can be applied even within novel and rapidly evolving situations.

PMID:34328831 | DOI:10.12788/jhm.3649

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