What is it about?
Despite the important role of laboratory testing in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease, there is concern about the increasing number of requested tests and in particular, large differences in laboratory utilization between clinical teams. The aim of our study was to establish the extent of variability in test requesting and characterise temporal changes in test ordering patterns across general practices within the catchment area of the Northern Ireland Western Health and Social Care Trust for a range of most commonly requested clinical biochemistry tests/test groups. We found that differences in requesting activity appear unrelated to either demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of GP practices or clinical outcome indicators.
Photo by Lucas Vasques on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Since unwarranted variation can lead to suboptimal clinical outcomes, identification of factors contributing to differences in test requesting can provide useful information for optimising utilisation of laboratory services. The aim of our study was to establish the extent of variability in test requesting and characterise temporal changes in test ordering patterns across general practices. In addition, we investigated potential factors associated with interdoctor variability in the use of laboratory tests including geographical, demographic and socioeconomic factors as well as Quality and Outcome Framework scores.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Primary care use of laboratory tests in Northern Ireland’s Western Health and Social Care Trust: a cross-sectional study, BMJ Open, June 2019, BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026647.
You can read the full text:
The following have contributed to this page