Follow-up tests ordered on 258 consecutively examined inpatients with low hemoglobin values on admission were analyzed. The appropriateness of the follow-up tests was evaluated by chart review after preselection by an algorithm. When the cause of the anemia was known or was irrelevant in view of the patient's clinical status, the laboratory use was judged to be adequate. Seventy-one percent of patients studied had an adequate follow-up, though 11% had nonindicated tests performed, scored as laboratory overuse. Twenty-four percent had no follow-up, scored as laboratory underuse. Five percent did not have all indicated tests done and had nonindicated tests done, scored as a mixture of underuse and overuse. Potential remedies to correct misuse are discussed.
(JAMA 238:2709-2714, 1977)
Wheeler LA, Brecher G, Sheiner LB. Clinical Laboratory Use in the Evaluation of Anemia. JAMA. 1977;238(25):2709–2714. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280260039014