Low-value lab testing has been a longstanding problem in Canada, straining hospital resources and potentially exposing patients to unwarranted investigations and treatments.
In an effort to tackle this pressing issue, Choosing Wisely Canada launched Using Labs Wisely, a national consortium that aims to make a measurable impact on reducing low-value lab testing. Just one year later, over 120 hospitals are participating from across the country.
Hospitals participating in the program have been actively engaged in identifying areas of improvement and undertaking projects aimed at reducing low-value lab practices. Supported through a learning collaborative, hospitals receive coaching, resources, and comparative reports to track their progress.
“Since joining Using Labs Wisely, we have had the opportunity to learn with others, while sharing our own insights and experiences into improving lab utilization across a hospital system,” says Felix Leung, Clinical Biochemist from Sinai Health System. “Collectively, we are working to implement evidence-based strategies and best practices learned from other institutions that will result in more efficient, effective, and appropriate care for our patients.”
As Using Labs Wisely continues to gain momentum, hospitals are contributing to the creation of a national reporting system for appropriate lab utilization in Canada. This will provide valuable insights and data, enabling a more comprehensive understanding of lab testing practices in Canadian health systems.
The achievements of Using Labs Wisely were recently showcased at Choosing Wisely Canada’s annual National Meeting held in Toronto. Dr. Adina Weinerman, Co-Lead of Using Labs Wisely, and Dr. Felix Leung, Biochemist at Sinai Health, had the opportunity to share experiences, lessons learned, and future goals of the program. These presentations underscored the collective efforts of participating hospitals and aimed to inspire future engagement from sites that have not yet joined the program.
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