Providing clinicians with information on laboratory test costs leads to reduction in hospital expenditure
We aimed to ascertain the efficacy of an intervention in which laboratory test costs were provided to clinicians as a pocket-sized brochure, in reducing laboratory test costs over a 4-month period.
This was a non-randomised intervention study in the Internal Medicine wards at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Pretoria, in which the intervention was laboratory test costs provided to clinicians as a pocket-sized brochure. The intervention period was the winter months of May - August 2008 and the pre-intervention period was the same months of the preceding year. In the two 4-month periods (2007 and 2008), the number of days in hospital and the laboratory tests ordered were computed for each patient admitted. For the intervention and control groups, pre- and post-intervention cost and days in hospital were estimated.
The mean cost per patient admitted in the intervention group decreased from R2 864.09 to R2 097.47 - a 27% reduction. The mean cost per day in the intervention group as a whole also decreased, from R442.90 to R284.14 - a 36% reduction.
Displaying the charges for diagnostic tests on the laboratory request form may significantly reduce both the number and cost of tests ordered, and by doing so bring about considerable in-hospital cost savings.
Available from: Maximino Redondo
- "It has been pointed out that having accurate information on laboratory test costs effectively leads to reduction in hospital expenditure . For that reason, an accurate estimation of the money spent on reagents in a given period is of great importance from an organizational point of view. "
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ABSTRACT: Until recently, laboratory automation has focused primarily on improving hardware. Future advances are concentrated on intelligent software since laboratories performing clinical diagnostic testing require improved information systems to address their data processing needs. In this paper, we propose DB4US, an application that automates information related to laboratory quality indicators information. Currently, there is a lack of ready-to-use management quality measures. This application addresses this deficiency through the extraction, consolidation, statistical analysis, and visualization of data related to the use of demographics, reagents, and turn-around times. The design and implementation issues, as well as the technologies used for the implementation of this system, are discussed in this paper.
To develop a general methodology that integrates the computation of ready-to-use management quality measures and a dashboard to easily analyze the overall performance of a laboratory, as well as automatically detect anomalies or errors. The novelty of our approach lies in the application of integrated web-based dashboards as an information management system in hospital laboratories.
We propose a new methodology for laboratory information management based on the extraction, consolidation, statistical analysis, and visualization of data related to demographics, reagents, and turn-around times, offering a dashboard-like user web interface to the laboratory manager. The methodology comprises a unified data warehouse that stores and consolidates multidimensional data from different data sources. The methodology is illustrated through the implementation and validation of DB4US, a novel web application based on this methodology that constructs an interface to obtain ready-to-use indicators, and offers the possibility to drill down from high-level metrics to more detailed summaries. The offered indicators are calculated beforehand so that they are ready to use when the user needs them. The design is based on a set of different parallel processes to precalculate indicators. The application displays information related to tests, requests, samples, and turn-around times. The dashboard is designed to show the set of indicators on a single screen.
DB4US was deployed for the first time in the Hospital Costa del Sol in 2008. In our evaluation we show the positive impact of this methodology for laboratory professionals, since the use of our application has reduced the time needed for the elaboration of the different statistical indicators and has also provided information that has been used to optimize the usage of laboratory resources by the discovery of anomalies in the indicators. DB4US users benefit from Internet-based communication of results, since this information is available from any computer without having to install any additional software.
The proposed methodology and the accompanying web application, DB4US, automates the processing of information related to laboratory quality indicators and offers a novel approach for managing laboratory-related information, benefiting from an Internet-based communication mechanism. The application of this methodology has been shown to improve the usage of time, as well as other laboratory resources.
11/2012; 1(2):e16. DOI:10.2196/ijmr.2126
Available from: PubMed Central
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ABSTRACT: In recent years inappropriate and excessive use of clinical laboratory facilities has become a cause of concern and has led to concurrent rise in the laboratory errors and the health care costs. The aim of the study was to find out the frequency of incomplete laboratory request forms, inappropriate test requests at various professional levels and the financial impact of uncollected reports at Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) and Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Laboratory Rawalpindi.
The cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted during a three month period from April to June 2012 at AFIP and CMH Laboratory Rawalpindi. A total of 1000 laboratory request forms were collected and scrutinized for completion from AFIP (n=500) and CMH Rawalpindi laboratory (n=500).536 request forms of costly/specialized tests from different departments of AFIP were studied to find out the professional level of test request. The total number of tests performed at AFIP during the study period and number of uncollected reports were noted. The financial impact of these uncollected reports was also calculated. Collection of data and sorting were done manually. Patient confidentiality was maintained. Microsoft excel software and SPSS-17 were used for analysis. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Review Committee.
Out of a total of 1000 forms studied none was completely filled with clinical notes being present in only 2.4% and 13% of forms sent to CMH and AFIP respectively. 62% of the expensive investigations were requested by specialists while 38% were ordered by residents and general practitioners but the percentage of avoidable expensive tests ordered by the general practitioners and residents was significantly higher than the specialists(p<0.001). A total of 9026 (40%) and 5046 (22%) diagnostic test reports were not collected from the Chemical pathology and Hematology departments respectively. Financial impact of uncollected reports from all the departments at AFIP collectively amounted to Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 3338201.
Processing incomplete laboratory request forms and injudicious use of laboratory facilities leads to incorrect interpretation of laboratory test results affecting outcome of the overall treatment.
BMC Health Services Research 11/2013; 13(1):495. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-13-495 · 1.71 Impact Factor
Available from: Mark Murphy
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ABSTRACT: There continues to be an unrelenting rise in the volumes of laboratory tests ordered in medicine, which is both expensive and has the potential for over-investigation. We performed a quantitative, observational, cross-sectional study of staff with the authority to initiate a laboratory test, using a voluntary, anonymous questionnaire. Our aim was to assess the awareness of and attitudes towards laboratory test costs. 226 surveys were completed over 2 weeks in June, 2012. Most numerous respondents were Staff nurses 125 (55.3%) followed by senior house officers (SHOs) 26 (11.5%) and clinical nurse managers/specialists (CNMs and CNSs) 23 (10.2%). The majority of staff, 191(85.6%), felt unaware of the cost of laboratory tests, which they ordered. For non urgent tests, the majority of respondents, 136 (61.8%) felt cost was either quite of very important. For urgent tests, the majority of respondents, 188 (84.6%) felt cost was of minor or of no importance. Doctors felt more aware of costs than nurses (26.9% vs. 9.3%) and doctors test cost estimates were correct more often than nurses (33% vs. 21%). The results indicate poor awareness of laboratory test cost amongst doctors and nurses. Given the expenditure incurred by a rise in the volume of tests and the potential for over-investigation for patients, strategies for improving the awareness of and attitudes towards laboratory tests need to be developed.
Irish medical journal 03/2014; 107(1):8-11. · 0.51 Impact Factor
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