There has been much discussion over the last several years regarding the over-utilization of testing. The linked article discusses a study published today in the journal Anesthesiology regarding unnecessary blood testing in surgery patients in Canada and shows a high variability of pre-op testing orders, depending on which hospital you went to for surgery.
“Unnecessary but frequently-used health care interventions like preoperative lab tests represent a significant cost to our already overburdened health care system and can even expose patients to harm,” says the study’s lead author Dr. Sacha Bhatia, who is a scientist at ICES, staff cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital and Director of WIHV. “For example, these tests can lead to surgical delays and more follow-up tests and interventions, which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for patients and their families. This is despite evidence that these tests do not support better patient care or health outcomes.”