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.