Reducing unnecessary routine laboratory testing for noncritically ill patients with COVID-19

Dawi Shin, Mona Krouss, Daniel Alaiev, Nessreen Mestari, Joseph Talledo, Milana Zaurova, Komal Chandra, Peter A. Manchego, Surafel Tsega, Amit Uppal, Robert T. Faillace, Joshua Moskovitz, Kenra Ford, Michael Bouton, Hyung J. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Reducing unnecessary routine laboratory testing is a Choosing Wisely® recommendation, and new areas of overuse were noted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To reduce unnecessary repetitive routine laboratory testing for patients with COVID-19 during the pandemic across a large safety net health system. Designs, Settings and Participants: This quality improvement initiative was initiated by the System High-Value Care Council at New York City Health + Hospitals (H + H), the largest public healthcare system in the United States consisting of 11 acute care hospitals. Intervention: four overused laboratory tests in noncritically ill hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were identified: C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and procalcitonin. A two-pronged electronic health record intervention was implemented consisting of (1) nonintrusive, informational nudge statements placed on selected order sets, and (2) a forcing function of one consecutive day limit on ordering. Main Outcome and Measures: The average of excess tests per encounter days (ETPED) for each of four target laboratory testing only in patients with COVID-19. Objective: Interdisciplinary System High-Value Care Council identified four overused laboratory tests (inflammatory markers) in noncritically ill hospitalized patients with COVID-19: C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and procalcitonin. Within an 11-hospital safety net health system, a two-pronged electronic health record intervention was implemented consisting of (1) nonintrusive, informational nudge statements placed on selected order sets, and (2) a forcing function of one consecutive day limit on ordering. The preintervention period (March 16, 2020 to January 24, 2021) was compared to the postintervention period (January 25, 2021 to March 22, 2022). Results: Time series linear regression showed decreases in CRP (−17.9%, p <.05), ferritin (−37.6%, p <.001), and LDH (−30.1%, p <.001). Slope differences were significant (CRP, ferritin, and LDH p < 0.001; procalcitonin p < 0.05). Decreases were observed across weekly averages: CRP (−19%, p <.01), ferritin (−37.9%, p <.001), LDH (−28.7%, p <.001), and procalcitonin (−18.4%, p <.05). Conclusion: This intervention was associated with reduced routine inflammatory marker testing in non-intensive care unit COVID-19 hospitalized patients across 11 hospitals. Variation was high among individual hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-966
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Volume17
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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