The issue of the appropriateness in laboratory medicine has been discussed from several years in association to theparallel onset of two aspects: 1) the significant increase in tests demand and utilization, thanks to the developmentof laboratory automation and information laboratory systems (LIS), that allow to provide timely and reliable results toclinicians; 2) the opportunity, thanks to new pathophysiological knowledge and new technologies to introduce newand more sophisticated tests in clinical practice, providing a relevant support to the clinician in the management ofpatients, according to the improved vision of personalized medicine. As a consequence, the potentialinappropriateness in test utilization and the need to manage demand and to reduce the redundant testing havereceived increasing concern. Several papers, in the recent literature, demonstrated that the inappropriateness inlaboratory test utilization may represent a potential source of errors, and interesting strategies have been proposedand progressively adopted in order to limit this problematic outcome. An essential issue is to assure appropriatenessnot only in test request, but in all steps of the testing cycle. In particular, some of the more relevant issues has beenlinked to: rationalization of laboratory test ordering prescription, thanks to development of a computerized clinicaldecision support systems; implementation of the reflexing tests rule; definition of the minimum retesting intervalaccording to the clinical and pathophysiological criteria; timely revision of the available panel tests in order to deletethose considered obsolete from clinical and analytical point-of-view and, finally, improving the education in demandmanagement. The “clinical laboratory stewardship” seems to be the new and shared strategy, that guarantees notonly the appropriate utilization and interpretation of laboratory tests improving efficacy and providing efficiency but,more importantly, the future of the discipline and the role of laboratory professionals in the context of new and morecomplicated clinical and economical scenarios.

Improving appropriateness in laboratory medicine: how, when and why

Giuseppe Lippi;
2019-01-01

Abstract

The issue of the appropriateness in laboratory medicine has been discussed from several years in association to theparallel onset of two aspects: 1) the significant increase in tests demand and utilization, thanks to the developmentof laboratory automation and information laboratory systems (LIS), that allow to provide timely and reliable results toclinicians; 2) the opportunity, thanks to new pathophysiological knowledge and new technologies to introduce newand more sophisticated tests in clinical practice, providing a relevant support to the clinician in the management ofpatients, according to the improved vision of personalized medicine. As a consequence, the potentialinappropriateness in test utilization and the need to manage demand and to reduce the redundant testing havereceived increasing concern. Several papers, in the recent literature, demonstrated that the inappropriateness inlaboratory test utilization may represent a potential source of errors, and interesting strategies have been proposedand progressively adopted in order to limit this problematic outcome. An essential issue is to assure appropriatenessnot only in test request, but in all steps of the testing cycle. In particular, some of the more relevant issues has beenlinked to: rationalization of laboratory test ordering prescription, thanks to development of a computerized clinicaldecision support systems; implementation of the reflexing tests rule; definition of the minimum retesting intervalaccording to the clinical and pathophysiological criteria; timely revision of the available panel tests in order to deletethose considered obsolete from clinical and analytical point-of-view and, finally, improving the education in demandmanagement. The “clinical laboratory stewardship” seems to be the new and shared strategy, that guarantees notonly the appropriate utilization and interpretation of laboratory tests improving efficacy and providing efficiency but,more importantly, the future of the discipline and the role of laboratory professionals in the context of new and morecomplicated clinical and economical scenarios.
appropriateness, laboratory, medicine
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/999520
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