A clinician's perspective on laboratory utilization management

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Excessive laboratory utilization is a common problem in the hospital setting. Physicians control up to 80% of healthcare costs and wield great influence. Methods: This review article describes reasons for overutilization of labs and recommends interventional strategies to change clinician ordering behavior. Results: Powerful factors exist that encourage overutilization, including fear of missing a diagnosis, provider inexperience, peer pressure, financial rewards, practice inertia, and fear of legal punishment. Features of automated order entry, such as bundling and "daily until discontinued" options contribute to wasteful ordering behavior. Conclusion: The most successful and long-lasting interventions are multi-faceted and have included a combination of education, feedback and audit, and administrative changes. The support of senior physicians and top administration is critical to the success of any initiative and ideally, interventions should be original from a multi-disciplinary committee of respected individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinician perspective
  • Laboratory test utilization
  • Utilization interventions
  • Utilization management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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