Duplicate laboratory test reduction using a clinical decision support tool

Am J Clin Pathol. 2014 May;141(5):718-23. doi: 10.1309/AJCPOWHOIZBZ3FRW.


Objectives: Duplicate laboratory tests that are unwarranted increase unnecessary phlebotomy, which contributes to iatrogenic anemia, decreased patient satisfaction, and increased health care costs.

Materials and methods: We employed a clinical decision support tool (CDST) to block unnecessary duplicate test orders during the computerized physician order entry (CPOE) process. We assessed laboratory cost savings after 2 years and searched for untoward patient events associated with this intervention.

Results: This CDST blocked 11,790 unnecessary duplicate test orders in these 2 years, which resulted in a cost savings of $183,586. There were no untoward effects reported associated with this intervention.

Conclusions: The movement to CPOE affords real-time interaction between the laboratory and the physician through CDSTs that signal duplicate orders. These interactions save health care dollars and should also increase patient satisfaction and well-being.

Keywords: Clinical decision support; Meaningful use; Test utilization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Services / economics
  • Clinical Laboratory Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost Savings
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / economics*
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Humans
  • Medical Order Entry Systems / economics*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / economics*
  • Patient Satisfaction