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Duplicate Laboratory Test Reduction Using a Clinical Decision Support Tool

Gary W. Procop MD, Lisa M. Yerian MD, Robert Wyllie MD, A. Marc Harrison MD, Kandice Kottke-Marchant MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/AJCPOWHOIZBZ3FRW 718-723 First published online: 1 May 2014


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.

Key Words:
  • Test utilization
  • Clinical decision support
  • Meaningful use
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