3 years ago

Optimizing Test Utilization in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory: Tools and Opportunities.

Optimal laboratory test utilization is important for providing high quality clinical care and efficiently using limited health care resources. While microbiologists have long been advocates for appropriate laboratory test utilization, the wide-spread availability of electronic medical records capable of supporting clinician order entry and clinical decision support tools (CDSTs) have provided expanded opportunities for implementing effective, automated test stewardship protocols. In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, D. Nikolic et al. (J Clin Microbiol https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01052-17) describe the results of implementing a CDST at their institution to curtail stool microbiology testing on patients hospitalized for more than three days. Their intervention significantly decreased unnecessary test orders and saved their laboratory over $8000 in reagent and labor costs during an 11-month post-intervention period. This study is an excellent example of how clinical microbiologists can use electronic tools to optimize laboratory test utilization in their health care system.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01332-17

DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01332-17

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