Bedside Assessment of the Necessity of Daily Lab Testing for Patients Nearing Discharge

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As part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, the Society of Hospital Medicine recommends against performing “repetitive complete blood count chemistry testing in the face of clinical and lab stability.” With this recommendation as a framework, we targeted 2 hospitalist-run inpatient medicine units that employed bedside, scripted, interdisciplinary rounds. Our multifaceted intervention included prompting the hospitalist to identify clinically stable patients for next-day discharge and to discontinue labs when appropriate. It was coupled with the education of the clinicians and a regular data review for the hospitalists and unit staff. Among 2877 discharges included in a 1-year period, there was a significantly decreasing trend after the intervention in the percentage of patients getting labs in the 24, 48, and 72 hours before discharge (-1.87%, -1.47%, and -0.74% decrease per month, respectively; P < .05). Our structured, multifaceted approach effectively reduced daily lab testing in the 24 to 48 hours prior to discharge. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2018;13:38-40. Published online first October 18, 2017.

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