In reply: Our intervention1 was developed following concerns with the quality of test ordering in our department, and resulted in a significant improvement in the checking and documentation of test results. Quality of care is also influenced by test over- and underutilisation. The study demonstrated a marked reduction in test ordering and accorded with the current estimates for test overutilisation.2 Test underutilisation was monitored using established mechanisms for reporting critical incidents (including missed or incorrect diagnoses) and patient complaints, as well as feedback from staff, general practitioners and other departments and hospitals. Patient outcome factors (eg, readmission rates, length of stay) were confounded by the dramatic onset of access block during the intervention period, making retrospective comparisons unreliable.
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