Gold Coast Health has achieved another milestone in the initiative to reduce unnecessary pathology testing and improve patient care.
The Choosing Wisely Pathology Project has launched an interactive dashboard that allows clinicians to review pathology ordering patterns so they can reduce waste on routine and repeat testing, while reducing inconvenience for patients.
The dashboard was developed in-house and recently launched to clinicians at Gold Coast Health. Guest speakers included Choosing Wisely Australia Clinical Lead Vanessa Simpson.
Emergency consultant Dr Adam Brand and Intensive Care Specialist Dr Angelly Martinez talked about how Choosing Wisely had driven improvements in their areas.
Adam said the project had targeted the c-Reactive Protein (CRP) test, which was being ordered in high volume relative to other pathology tests.
“There’s been a 63 per cent reduction in CRP ordering within the Emergency Department since March 2016, with an associated 43 per cent reduction across our health service,” Adam said. Several other Emergency Department tests were now under review.
Six tests were reviewed in the Intensive Care Unit, according to Angelly, including blood gas, catheter tips and cultures. For some tests, the unnecessary routine testing has been halved.
Project Manager Therese Kelly said the new dashboard provided clinicians with a clear picture of test ordering patterns, making it easy to identify trends and manage the outcome.
“By collating data about pathology ordering practices, our clinicians can see where patients are receiving the same test too frequently with little benefit to their care,” Therese said.
Clinical sponsor Dr Jeremy Wellwood said a clearer view of testing enabled doctors to have conversations about what tests were best for managing patient diagnosis and treatment.
“There’s been a reduction in the number of pathology tests ordered across our health service since the project started more than 18 months ago – and this is despite a 14 per cent increase in patient activity over this time. This project is having a real impact on patient care,” Jeremy said.
Gold Coast Health is considering expanding Choosing Wisely into other clinical services including Medical Imaging, Medicines Management, Antimicrobial Stewardship, and Blood Management.
Pictured at the launch: Tony Ghent, Pathology Consultant (left); Dr Jeremy Wellwood, Clinical Sponsor (Haematologist); Dr Petra Derrington, Executive Director Pathology Queensland (Microbiologist); Niki Murphy, Clinical Nurse Consultant (Intensive Care); Dr Adam Brand, Emergency Consultant; Therese Kelly, Project Manager; and Kristy Hayes, Service Director.
The Choosing Wisely implementation toolkit provides guidance on planning and carrying out an effective Choosing Wisely project for your health service.
Choosing Wisely Australia translated resources
Explore the translated versions of the 5 questions you should consider asking your doctor or other healthcare provider.