An intervention designed to hone residents’ skills in handling patient requests for low-value diagnostic tests had no effect on whether residents actually ordered the tests for patients, according to a recent study (Fenton JJ et al. JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6840 [published online December 7, 2015]).
The study randomized 61 resident primary care physicians to a control or intervention group consisting of 2 simulated patient visits with standardized patient instructors requesting inappropriate screening tests. In the intervention group, the instructors provided feedback to the residents on how to use 6 patient-centered techniques to address patient concerns without ordering low-value tests. The control group received identical simulated patient visits without feedback or discussion of patient-communication steps and were sent relevant clinical guidelines via email.
Slomski A. Coaching Does Not Prevent Low-Value Diagnostic Testing. JAMA. 2016;315(4):337. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.18979