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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reducing Unnecessary Lab Orders with Cost Displays

  • Author(s): Walheim, Chris
  • et al.

Ordering unnecessary medical tests can be harmful to patients and increases the cost of healthcare. Research has shown that provider awareness of medical test pricing at the time of ordering can reduce ordering expenditures and volume. To promote high-value, cost-conscious medical care at UCSD, we are building a price display for common labs for Epic ordering screens that is due to launch in the near future. We used presentations and other education modalities such as flier postings to help raise awareness and stimulate culture change regarding attitude toward excessive lab ordering. After analysis of data from implementation of our price display, future considerations for project direction include expanding the reach of current interventions to include other order types and practice settings, and/or to develop new complementary interventions.

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