Test Utilization Made Easy

Just kidding–this sort of thing isn’t easy. Right?

Not so fast. A few days ago I attended a session on test utilization management at the AACC meeting in Chicago. While the issue is quite complex–it’s not just a matter of right test/right patient/right time (which is tough enough already)–the speakers gave the audience a few relatively easy ways to improve test utilization.

  • Find and fix ordering errors
  • Identify tests with limited clinical use and eliminate them from your menu
  • Suggest a better test for the same disease/condition
  • Identify and correct deviations from established guidelines
  • Investigate odd patterns. (For example, if General Hospital generates 5% of your business but accounts for 70% of test X.)
  • Monitor year-to-year practice variations

As I said, this issue is quite complex, but implementing even a few of these changes could improve your lab’s bottom line.

 

Swails

Kelly Swails, MT(ASCP), is a laboratory professional, recovering microbiologist, and web editor for Lab Medicine.

 

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