Towards Better Test Utilization - Strategies to Improve Physician Ordering and Their Impact on Patient Outcomes

EJIFCC. 2015 Jan 27;26(1):15-30. eCollection 2015 Jan.


Laboratory medicine is the single highest volume medical activity in healthcare and demand for laboratory testing is increasing disproportionately to medical activity. It has been estimated that $6.8 billion of medical care in the US involves unnecessary testing and procedures that do not improve patient care and may even harm the patient. Physicians face many challenges in accurately, efficiently and safely ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests. In order to improve patient outcomes, laboratory tests must be appropriately ordered, properly conducted, reported in a timely manner, correctly interpreted and affect a decision for future diagnosis and treatment of the patient.

Keywords: clinical outcomes; computerized physician order entry; guidelines; physician education; test ordering; test utilization.