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.
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.
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.
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.