Low-value testing occurs when a test is ordered for the wrong reason or at the wrong time. These tests can quickly snowball into a cascade of unwarranted investigations or treatments, potentially exposing patients to harm.
There are many reasons why low-value lab testing occurs. It can be the result of individual provider decisions, but more often than not, outdated systems and processes can nudge people into ordering more than what is needed. This clogs already stretched systems and diverts scarce lab resources away from those who need it most.
To tackle this problem, Choosing Wisely Canada is inviting hospitals to join Using Labs Wisely, a national consortium that aims to make a measurable impact on reducing low-value lab testing. Hospitals of various sizes and levels of experience with implementing lab stewardship projects are welcome to join.
Here’s what hospitals are signing up for:
The consortium is not only an important opportunity to implement and measure change, but participating hospitals will also contribute to the creation of a national reporting system for appropriate lab utilization in Canada.
There are other perks to participating too. Hospitals will receive national recognition as a member and can use these efforts as credits towards becoming a Choosing Wisely Canada Hospital. These efforts can also be applied towards licensure and accreditation requirements through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or for Ontario Hospitals, CPSO’S Partnership for Hospitals.
You can now apply to participate for a September 2022 start in Using Labs Wisely.