Navigation Links
MU researcher finds way to reduce unnecessary lab tests, decrease patient costs by modifying software

COLUMBIA, Mo. When patients undergo diagnostic lab tests as part of the inpatient admission process, they may wonder why or how physicians choose particular tests. Increasingly, medical professionals are using electronic medical systems that provide lists of lab tests from which medical professionals can choose. Now, a University of Missouri researcher and her colleagues have studied how to modify these lists to ensure health professionals order relevant tests and omit unnecessary lab tests, which could result in better care and reduced costs for patients.

"Ordering numerous lab tests can result in unnecessary testing and can cause physical discomfort and financial stress to patients," said Victoria Shaffer, an assistant professor of health sciences in the MU School of Health Professions. "We found that by changing the way electronic order set lists were designed, we could significantly alter both the number and quality of lab tests ordered by clinicians."

Shaffer and her research team studied how physicians selected lab tests using three order set list designs on the same electronic medical system. The first order set list design was an opt-in version in which no lab tests were pre-selected; this is the standard method of lab test ordering in electronic health records for most healthcare facilities. A second option was an opt-out version in which physicians had to de-select lab tests they believed were not clinically relevant. In the third design, only a few tests were pre-selected based on recommendations by pediatric experts. On average, clinicians ordered three more tests when using the opt-out version than the opt-in or recommended versions. However, providers ordered more tests recommended by the pediatric experts when using the recommended design than when using the opt-in design.

"Essentially we found that including default selections, either with the opt-out method or the recommended method, increased the quality of lab tests the clinicians ordered. That is, clinicians ordered more tests recommended by pediatric experts with these methods," Shaffer said. "However, there were costs associated with using these approaches. Use of the opt-out method costs about $71 more per patient. Using a set of recommended defaults keeps costs down but requires consensus about which tests to set as defaults."

Shaffer, who also is an assistant professor of psychological sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science, believes that to further improve medical software and create the best end product, information technology (IT) experts who design the software should collaborate with experts who study how people interact with technology and medical professionals who would use the software.

"Problems with these software systems often occur because IT experts design the software with minimal input from the people who use it," Shaffer said. "IT experts and medical professionals should work together to design these systems to reach optimal performance, which results in the best care for patients. A wide variety of methods exist that could improve medical lab test ordering software and would ensure that only the most appropriate, relevant lab tests for patients are ordered while saving money in the long run."

Shaffer partnered with Adam Probst from Baylor Scott & White Health and Raymond Chan from Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo. Their study was published in Health Psychology.


Contact: Jesslyn Chew
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related medicine news :

1. Hot-air balloon rides -- researchers advise, proceed with caution
2. Researchers gain new insights into brain neuronal networks
3. Researchers warn of the myths of global medical tourism
4. Canadian researchers discover how to measure quality of life for rare blood condition
5. Kessler researchers find aerobic exercise benefits memory in persons with multiple sclerosis
6. New Method to Rejuvenate Faded Make-up Announced by Water and Eye Researcher
7. Voices Against Brain Cancer Commends Researchers for the Identification of an Important Protein that May Give Insight to More Effective Glioblastoma Treatments
8. Increasing rate of knee replacements linked to obesity among young, researchers say
9. Long-term use of prescription-based painkillers increases the risk of depression, SLU researcher finds
10. Akron researcher awarded NIH grant for advancing 3-D tumor models for anticancer drug testing
11. UTSA researchers develop prototype football kicking simulator
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... IBM software products, introduced a new company, RightSensor™ LLC, an Internet of Things ... capability. RightSensor™ provides a fully-managed approach for customers requiring sensor hardware for ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... CHENNAI, India (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... advanced camera solutions, today announced See3CAM_CU40, the industry’s first RGB-IR pixel format ... module. See3CAM_CU40, a new member of e-con’s See3CAM family of UVC USB 3.0 cameras, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Protein is essential to good health. You need ... blood. But how much protein does the average man need in order to stay ... the October 2015 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch . Most Americans get ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... T-System and Centegra Health System, a prominent ... visits per year, today announced the successful and rapid deployment of EV™, an ... financial outcomes. , In less than four days, Centegra Hospitals McHenry ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a ... snow melting invention that helps people in clearing snow away from the streets and ... grow at 3.8% per year," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015  Measurement in accountable care programs ... financial incentives, but gaps in measurement can result ... health systems. A new, peer-reviewed study published ... explores measurement gaps for high-priority conditions ... --> --> "These ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Nanomedical Diagnostics, ... use in research and diagnostics, announces the completion ... million led by Serra Ventures. ... is providing low-cost, easy-to-use monitoring and diagnostic platforms ... decisions. The funding round will enable the company ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13 2015 ... the "US & European Markets for ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "US & European Markets ... (2010-2021)" report to their offering. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: