Audit of routine preoperative blood test requests for patients undergoing elective breast surgery: Less is more

An interesting article by Stacey Jones, Rajgopal Achuthan, Shiwei Ooi and Baek Kim

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In 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence updated guidelines on preoperative blood tests for elective surgery; with failure of adherence having implications for both patients and healthcare providers. A local audit was performed on 919 patients undergoing elective breast surgery that determined compliance and the financial implications of performing inappropriate preoperative blood tests against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline. Initial findings of an unacceptable quantity of inappropriate blood tests led to the education of the pre-assessment clinic staff regarding the guidelines along with the development of a poster to guide the ordering of appropriate tests. A re-audit of 451 patients assessed impact of interventions which resulted in a significant reduction in the number of blood tests requested with a 71% reduction in financial expenditure. The blood tests considered inappropriate in both the initial and re-audit did not add any relevant clinical information and abnormal results did not alter the clinical course of the patient.

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Jasmine Walter

Content Editor, Mark Allen Group

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