Case Management

Help stop unnecessary or duplicate tests

Case Management Insider, August 25, 2015

Are your organization’s docs ordering too many tests? It’s possible, according to recent statistics, which estimate that unneeded and unnecessary medical interventions cost the U.S. healthcare system some $210 billion each year.

For example, some EDs may perform CT scans that are not really needed. Two different clinicians who did not check in with one another could order the same laboratory test for a patient.

Unnecessary testing is not only costly, but creates needless hassles for patients.

In an effort to cut down on needless or duplicative testing, the ABIM Foundation designed an initiative called Choosing Wisely, which boasts some 70 specialty medical societies as members. The initiative seeks to cut down on the number of unneeded tests by educating physicians and patients about this issue.

Choosing Wisely offers a number of resources that can help you get involved with this issue at your organization, and help to ensure patient testing is needed and appropriate.

Case managers can also take some steps to intervene when problems arise, June Stark, RN, BSN, MEd, director of care coordination at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center-Steward Healthcare, in Boston, and Teresa M. Treiger, RN-BC, MA, CHCQM-CM/TOC, CCM, principal of Ascent Care Management, LLC, in Quincy, Massachusetts, told HCPro’s Case Management Monthly.

To make a difference, Stark and Treiger recommend that case managers do the following:

  • Work closely with physicians, and discuss up front what testing each patient will need.
  • Look out for red flags. Is your patient telling you they’ve been stuck by one too many needles? Don’t dismiss their concerns—investigate.
  • Use technology to your advantage. Encourage your IT department to include an alert system that flags duplicate tests.

For more details on how to make a difference in preventing unnecessary testing check out the June issue of Case Management Monthly.

Most Popular