Article: article from journal or magazin.
The cost of inappropriateness of coagulation testing [I costi dell'inappropriatezza in coagulazione]
Rivista Italiana della Medicina di Laboratorio
Background. Laboratory utilization has steadily increased with a corresponding increase in overall costs; several authors have attempted to measure the impact of inappropriateness on clinical outcomes but data are insufficient. The aim of the study is to assess the cost of inappropriateness of test-ordering behaviour for second-level coagulation tests (hemorrhagic diathesisand thrombophilia). Methods. We reviewed all second-level coagulation testrequests received by our department during a six months period. Clinicians must fill out a specific order form for these kind of tests, containing all informations deemed necessary for the laboratory specialist to evaluatethe appropriateness of the request. We identified all inappropriate requests and counted the numbers and types of all coagulation tests that were not performed during the period. An analysis of the laboratory activity costs was done in order to calculate the global costof each test in our department and to estimate the savings achieved. Results. On a total of 1664 second-level coagulationtest requests, we estimated 150 as completely inappropriate. We found an overall of 295 inappropriate testswhich were not performed. This resulted in an economic saving of 20.000 euro in 6 months. Conclusions. The analysis of cost of our intervention shows the urgent need for a definite and sustained reduction in inappropriate requests of second-level coagulation tests. Even though we estimated only the economic aspect of inappropriate testing, this is also associated with the overuse of diagnostic tests which entailsthe risk of generating erroneous results with potentialnegative consequences on patients' health.
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