Electronic Access Increases Test Ordering Behavior

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

electronic access test results doctor 150x150Electronic Access to Lab and Xray results is a convenience that some people believe will lead to Fewer Tests being ordered.  These same voices champion Technology as the cost saving breakthrough in the future of healthcare.
That theory is being put to a real world test by results in new study published in the March issue of Health Affairs

Here is one of the study’s findings:

Electronic access to medical imaging and lab results has led to a significant increase in imaging and blood tests. For example, physicians with access to computerized results were 40 percent to 70 percent more likely to order a second X-ray or CT scan. (ouch)

Looks like the effect of improvements in technology may actually drive consumption and costs in the opposite direction.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this subject.