Context.—Managing the utilization of laboratory tests is an important quality improvement activity that adds value to health care. Objective.—To examine utilization of 3 laboratory tests and identify factors that impact performance. Design.—Test utilization performance was evaluated by determining the frequency with which appropriate preconditions for testing were met. This included 30 testing episodes each involving (1) free prostate-specific antigen (PSA) when total PSA was within an appropriate interpretable range, (2) total anti–hepatitis A virus antibody when previous anti–hepatitis A virus antibody results were either negative or not done, and (3) factor V Leiden mutation when a previous result was not already available. Participants also provided information regarding some of their utilization policies and procedures for these 3 tests. Results.—The overall frequency with which testing criteria were met was 20.6% (163 of 790), 91.5% (649 of 709), and 95.2% (799 of 839) for free PSA, anti–hepatitis A virus antibody, and factor V Leiden, respectively. Utilization review was infrequent and done by 20.7% (6 of 29) of participants for factor V Leiden, 3.6% (1 of 28) for anti–hepatitis A virus antibody, and 3.6% (1 of 28) for free PSA. No practice or demographic characteristics were significantly associated with utilization performance for any test. Conclusions.—Utilization review was infrequent for the 3 tests examined. Variable amounts of unnecessary testing were observed for all tests, most frequently for free PSA, for which reporting results carried the added risk of diagnostic error from misinterpretation of results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Medical Laboratory Technology