Thursday, December 28, 2017

The campaign against daily labs in hospitalized patients

Routine daily laboratory testing of hospitalized patients reflects a wasteful clinical practice that threatens the value of health care.

Where’s the evidence of that claim?

Choosing Wisely initiatives from numerous professional societies have identified repetitive laboratory testing in the face of clinical stability as low value care.

Choosing Wisely recommendations are based on suggestions people have submitted. The relevance here is questionable, as there are few clinically stable patients who remain in the hospital.

Although laboratory expenditure often represents less than 5% of most hospital budgets, the impact is far-reaching given that laboratory tests influence nearly 60% to 70% of all medical decisions.

If this daily testing is influencing medical decisions isn’t it worth doing?

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