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Reducing Unnecessary Tests and Improving the Patient Experience with Epic

Boston Medical Center uses reminders in Epic to reduce duplicative testing

According to a study published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, reminders in Epic promote interventions after surgery that support the patient’s recovery. As part of the study, Boston Medical Center used Epic to prompt physicians to evaluate whether a diagnostic test they were ordering was necessary.

The study focused on improving quality of care based on recommendations from the Choosing Wisely campaign, which include reducing unnecessary tests and increasing use of postoperative orders for pain management and pneumonia prevention. Unnecessary tests can increase risks for patients and increase the cost of their care without improving outcomes.

After over a year of using the reminders, BMC saw an average decline of more than 1,000 lab orders per month. Meanwhile, orders for pain management and pneumonia prevention increased 20%.

“In order to move the needle on reducing unnecessary healthcare costs, we need to consider [approaches] that can truly make a difference in how we deliver exceptional, high-value care to every patient,” said Dr. Nicholas Cordella, one of the study’s authors.

Read more from Boston Medical Center.