Laboratory tests provide health care professionals with important information to make decisions regarding the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of many diseases. However, overutilization of low-value lab tests can lead to unnecessary interventions or investigations, increased health care spending and resource use, environmental effects of resource waste, and potentially negative patient experiences.
Recognizing the importance of resource stewardship related to lab testing, Choosing Wisely Canada has established the Using Labs Wisely program, a national consortium of hospitals committed to reducing low-value, hospital-based lab testing. In 2022, the program worked closely with decision-maker funding partners and the lab and clinical community to develop a set of 5 recommendations for clinicians to consider when ordering lab tests in hospital settings. Using a multi-stakeholder Delphi study and supporting data, this project prioritized additional hospital-based lab tests that could be considered for reduction or elimination in subsequent years of the Using Labs Wisely program.