Vol. 3 No. 1 (2023)
Health Technology Reviews

Identifying Overused Lab Tests in Hospital Settings: A Delphi Study

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Published January 13, 2023

Key Messages

  • Unnecessary lab testing may lead to inaccurate diagnoses, inappropriate treatment or further testing, and increased strain on our health care system, and can expose patients to potential harm.
  • To identify lab tests that could be considered by Choosing Wisely Canada’s Using Labs Wisely program, we convened a panel of experts that included physicians, medical laboratory professionals, patients, and decision-makers from across Canada. Our objective was to prioritize a list of high-volume laboratory tests that are often ordered unnecessarily in hospital settings.
  • Through a consensus-generating process, the expert panel prioritized 7 lab tests as candidates for reduction or elimination in hospital settings. These were 25-hydroxy vitamin D testing, vitamin B12 testing, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) testing, free triiodothyronine (FT3) and free thyroxine (FT4) testing, international normalized ratio (INR) testing, and amylase testing.