Society of Hospital Medicine – Adult Hospital Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 21, 2013; Updated October 18, 2021

Avoid transfusions of red blood cells for arbitrary hemoglobin or hematocrit thresholds and in the absence of symptoms caused by anemia.

The AABB recommends adhering to a restrictive transfusion strategy (7 to 8 g/dL) in hospitalized, stable patients. The AABB suggests that transfusion decisions be influenced by symptoms as well as hemoglobin concentration. According to a National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference, no single criterion should be used as an indication for red cell component therapy. Instead, multiple factors related to the patient’s clinical status and oxygen delivery should be considered


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

(1–5)

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 Wisely subcommittee 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.

(6–11)

These recommendations were created by the SHM Hospital Quality and Patient Safety Committee’s High Value Care Sub-Committee (HVCC).

Phase 1: Crowdsourcing and Brainstorming – An online questionnaire requesting examples of low-value care in adult hospital medicine was sent to the SHM listserv, along with ABIM Foundation and affiliated social media outlets. All examples of low-value care from the questionnaire were compiled, edited, counted, and categorized into 5 domains: laboratory, imaging, medication, diagnostics and other. Duplicate or similar recommendations were also taken into account. Recommendations in the previous SHM CW Top 5 list were removed. All items with 10 or more mentions were taken into the next phase in an effort to capture the most prominent themes.

Phase 2: Literature Search and Developing Recommendations – All items brought into this phase were individually reviewed and discussed through an iterative process. Items were divided among HVCC members, and a literature search was performed in the PubMed database. Focused recommendations were developed and presented to the committee for review. Items that were duplicative or had insufficient evidence to support the recommendation were removed, leaving 22 items.

Phase 3: Modified Delphi Voting – For the remaining recommendations, a Delphi scoring process was utilized to reach consensus among clinicians and patient advocates. A total of 7 HVCC members and 7 patient advocates voted on the recommendations.

For each recommendation on the voting survey, clinician respondents were asked to rate on a 1-5 Likert scale on three criteria: (1) strength of evidence, (2) potential for avoiding patient harm, and (3) relevance to hospital medicine. Patient advocates were asked to rate each recommendation based on the same Likert scale on a slightly different criteria: (1) strength of evidence, (2) potential for avoiding patient harm, and (3) relevance to patients.

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

Sources

Carson JL, Grossman BJ, Kleinman S, Tinmouth AT, Marques MB, Fung MK, Holcomb JB, Illoh O, Kaplan LJ, Katz LM, Rao SV, Roback JD, Shander A, Tobian AA, Weinstein R, Swinton McLaughlin LG, Djulbegovic B; Clinical Transfusion Medicine Committee of the AABB.Red blood cell transfusion: A clinical practice guideline from the AABB. Ann Intern Med [Internet]. 2012 Jul 3 [cited 2012 Sep 4];157(1):49-58.

Consensus conference. Perioperative red blood cell transfusion. JAMA. 1988 Nov 11; 260(18):2700-3.

Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide. AABB name change. [Internet]. 2012 [Cited 2012 Oct 15]. Available from: www.aabb.org/about/who/Pages/namechange.aspx.