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Ann Clin Biochem. 2013 Sep;50(Pt 5):438-42. doi: 10.1177/0004563213479942. Epub 2013 Jul 4.

The impact of local guidelines on the tumour marker requesting patterns of a General Surgery Department.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK. Danja.Schulenburg-brand@wales.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The inappropriate use of tumour markers (TMs) is a common problem. The aim of this audit was to evaluate the impact of local guidelines on the TM requesting patterns of a General Surgery Department.

METHODS:

CA 125, CA 19-9, CA15-3, CEA, AFP and HCG requests from all hospital surgical locations were audited over two periods of eight months before and after the implementation of local requesting guidelines.

RESULTS:

Postintervention, total TM requests decreased by 32% while patient requests decreased by 9.8%. Single TM requesting increased and requests for panels containing four or more TMs decreased from 279 to 60 requests (78% reduction).

CONCLUSION:

Interdepartmental collaboration and the implementation of local guidelines have resulted in a change in requesting behaviour, most notably a reduction in multiple TM panel requests.

KEYWORDS:

Tumour markers; analytes; laboratory management; laboratory methods

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