Reducing unnecessary pre-operative testing
Unnecessary services are a significant burden on the US healthcare system, with an annual cost over $200 billion and no clear patient benefits. Overuse of pre-operative tests alone reaches $18 billion per year, despite evidence-based guidelines against routine screening of healthy patients undergoing low-risk surgeries. This project aimed to reduce pre-operative electrocardiogram (ECG), pre-operative hematocrit (Hct), coagulation, and/or complete blood count (CBC) testing to for low-risk procedures.
We reduced unnecessary ECG from 43% to 6% in one hospital and from 51% to 4% in the second one. Unnecessary blood tests were reduced from 81% to 63% in one hospital and from 93% to 60% in the second. The reductions lead to an estimated annual savings of $100,000 as well as total staff time savings of 55 hours per month.