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MU researcher finds way to reduce unnecessary lab tests, decrease patient costs by modifying software
Date:11/4/2013

ests 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.


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Contact: Jesslyn Chew
ChewJ@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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