Society of Hospital Medicine – Adult Hospital Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 21, 2013

Don’t perform repetitive CBC and chemistry testing in the face of clinical and lab stability.

Hospitalized patients frequently have considerable volumes of blood drawn (phlebotomy) for diagnostic testing during short periods of time. Phlebotomy is highly associated with changes in hemoglobin and hematocrit levels for patients and can contribute to anemia. This anemia, in turn, may have significant consequences, especially for patients with cardiorespiratory diseases. Additionally, reducing the frequency of daily unnecessary phlebotomy can result in significant cost savings for hospitals.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) created a Choosing Wisely® subcommittee comprised of representatives of the Hospital Quality and Patient Safety committee and included diverse representation of academic, community and adult hospitalists. SHM committee members submitted 150 recommendations for consideration, which were discussed for frequency of occurrence, the uniqueness of the tests and treatments and whether the cost burden for a specific test or treatment proved to be significant, narrowing the list to 65 items. The Choosing Wiselysubcommittee ranked these items and a survey was sent to all SHM members to arrive at 11 recommendations, of which the final five were determined utilizing the Delphi method. SHM’s Board approved the final recommendations.

SHM’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.hospitalmedicine.org.

Sources

Salisbury AC, Reid KJ, Alexander KP, Masoudi FA, Lai SM, Chan PS, Bach RG, Wang TY, Spertus JA, Kosiborod M. Diagnostic blood loss from phlebotomy and hospital-acquired anemia during Acute Myocardial Infarction. Arch Intern Med [Internet]. 2011 Oct 10 [cited 2012 Sep 4];171(18):1646-1653.

Thavendiranathan P, Bagai A, Ebidia A, Detsky AS, Choudhry NK. Do blood tests cause anemia in hospitalized patients?: The effect of diagnostic phlebotomy on hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. J Gen Intern Med [Internet]. 2005 June [cited 2012 Sep 4];20(6):520–524.

Stuebing EA, Miner TJ. Surgical vampires and rising health care expenditure: reducing the cost of daily phlebotomy. Arch Surg [Internet]. 2011 May [cited 2012 Sep 4];146(5):524-7.