Reduction in unnecessary clinical laboratory testing through utilization management at a us government Veterans Affairs hospital

Raymond L. Konger, Paul Ndekwe, Genea Jones, Ronald P. Schmidt, Marty Trey, Eric J. Baty, Denise Wilhite, Imtiaz A. Munshi, Bradley M. Sutter, Maddamsetti Rao, Chowdry M. Bashir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To implement an electronic laboratory utilization management system (laboratory expert system [LES]) to provide safe and effective reductions in unnecessary clinical laboratory testing. Methods: The LES is a set of frequency filter subroutines within the Veterans Affairs hospital and laboratory information system that was formulated by an interdisciplinary medical team. Results: Since implementing the LES, total test volume has decreased by a mean of 11.18% per year compared with our pre-LES test volume. This change was not attributable to fluctuations in outpatient visits or inpatient days of care. Laboratory cost savings were estimated at $151,184 and $163,751 for 2012 and 2013, respectively. A significant portion of these cost savings was attributable to reductions in high-volume, large panel testing. No adverse effects on patient care were reported, and mean length of stay for patients remained unchanged. Conclusions: Electronic laboratory utilization systems can effectively reduce unnecessary laboratory testing without compromising patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-364
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Volume145
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Clinical laboratory
  • Cost containment
  • Frequency filter
  • Test reduction
  • Utilization management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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    Konger, R. L., Ndekwe, P., Jones, G., Schmidt, R. P., Trey, M., Baty, E. J., Wilhite, D., Munshi, I. A., Sutter, B. M., Rao, M., & Bashir, C. M. (2016). Reduction in unnecessary clinical laboratory testing through utilization management at a us government Veterans Affairs hospital. American journal of clinical pathology, 145(3), 355-364. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/aqv092