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Reducing inpatient heritable thrombophilia testing using a clinical decision-making tool


Aims To evaluate the impact of a clinical decision-making tool, designed to educate physicians regarding heritable thrombophilia (HT) testing, on the volume of testing in hospitalised patients in the tertiary care setting.

Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study over a 6-year period (2007–2012) at a single tertiary care centre intervention site and two regional control sites. In January 2010, the intervention site instituted a policy change whereby physicians ordering HT testing on inpatients needed to complete a pre-preprinted order (PPO) form that outlined the limitations of HT testing in the hospitalised setting. Failure to complete the PPO within 24 h resulted in test cancellation. Our main outcome measure was the volume of HT testing performed at the three study sites.

Results Introduction of the PPO resulted in a 79.4% (95% CI 71.2% to 87.6%) reduction in factor V Leiden (FVL) testing at the intervention site. This decrease was significantly greater compared with those in the two control teaching hospitals over the same time periods (33.7% and 43.6%; both p<0.001). Reductions in FVL testing postintervention were observed among all ordering specialists. Similar postintervention reductions in testing volumes were observed for antithrombin (57.4%), protein C (61.9%) and protein S (62.2%) activity assays.

Conclusions In a large tertiary care hospital, the introduction of a clinical decision-making tool significantly reduced HT testing in inpatients across clinical specialties. The impact on patient outcome should be assessed in further studies.


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