Optimal laboratory test utilization is important for providing highquality clinical care and efficiently using limited health care resources. While microbiologists have long been advocates for appropriate laboratory test utilization, the widespread availability of electronic medical records capable of supporting clinician order entry and of clinical decision support tools (CDSTs) has provided expanded opportunities for implementing effective, automated test stewardship protocols. D. Nikolic et al. (J. Clin. Microbiol. 55:3350-3354, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01052-17) describe the results of implementing a CDST at their institution to curtail stool microbiology testing for patients hospitalized for more than 3 days. Their intervention significantly decreased unnecessary test orders and saved their laboratory over $8,000 in reagent and labor costs during an 11-month postintervention period. That report provides an excellent example of how clinical microbiologists can use electronic tools to optimize laboratory test utilization in their health care system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)