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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Doctors Advised to Reduce Unnecessary Tests
Last week nine medical societies issued new guidelines for physicians; before ordering tests, asks if it is really needed. This is a change from the current belief of write the prescription, order the test, do something. The list contains 45 items that should not be automatic orders. Not prescribing antibiotics for mild to moderate sinus distress is one. Another is not ordering brain scans for patients who have fainted but had not seizure. More controversial may be the recommendation to stop treating tumors in cancer patients who have not responded to other therapies.
The guidelines are just that, recommendations, not a directive. It will be curious to see if practices change. From my personal experience, doctors order endless tests with little to no thought of the cost-benefit. Not to mention the hassle of going to a clinic. Personally, I like seeing more thought entering the process rather than knee-jerk reactions. What about you?