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West J Med. 1985 Sep;143(3):397-8.

Which hospital services are most overused? Results from a medical audit.


When we assessed the extent of unnecessary ordering of clinical services by medical house staff at a large university hospital, 21% of services were judged to be unwarranted. Most overordered were nuclear medicine services, followed by laboratory tests. Because of their large volume, clinical laboratory services accounted for 78% of all unwarranted orders. Unwarranted use of hospital services is substantial and variable among physicians and services. This study confirms the value of medical record reviews for documenting the need for and guiding the course of hospital cost-containment programs.

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