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Does cost feedback modify demand for common blood tests in secondary care? A prospective controlled intervention study

Lewis, Sarah; Young, Ben; Thurley, Peter; Shaw, Dominick; Cranwell, Jo; Skelly, Rob; Langley, Tessa; Norwood, Mark; Sturrock, Nigel; Andrew Fogarty

Authors

Sarah Lewis

Ben Young

Peter Thurley

Dominick Shaw

Jo Cranwell

Rob Skelly

Tessa Langley

Mark Norwood

Nigel Sturrock

Andrew Fogarty



Abstract

Background: Behavioural insights or ‘nudge’ theory suggests that non-directional interventions may be used to modify human behaviour. We have tested the hypothesis that the provision of the cost of common blood tests with their results may modify subsequent demand for blood assays.

Methods: The study design was a prospective controlled intervention study. The individual and annual institutional cost of full blood count (FBC), urea and electrolytes (U&E) and liver function test (LFT) blood assays were added to the electronic results system for inpatients at the intervention teaching hospital, but not the control hospital.

Results: In the 12 months after the intervention was implemented, demand for FBC dropped by 3% (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1 to 5, p less than 0.001), U&E by 2% (95%CI: 0 to 4, p=0.054) and there was no change in demand for LFT compared to the control institution.

Conclusions: Providing cost feedback to clinicians for commonly used blood tests is a viable intervention that is associated with small reductions in demand for some, but not all blood assays. As this is an easily scalable approach, this has potential to enable efficient health care delivery, while also minimising the morbidity experienced by the patient.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Journal Future Healthcare Journal
Print ISSN 2514-6645
Electronic ISSN 2514-6653
Publisher Royal College of Physicians
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 204-208
APA6 Citation Lewis, S., Young, B., Thurley, P., Shaw, D., Cranwell, J., Skelly, R., …Andrew Fogarty, . (2019). Does cost feedback modify demand for common blood tests in secondary care? A prospective controlled intervention study. Future Healthcare Journal, 6(3), 204-208. https://doi.org/10.7861/fhj.2019-0001
DOI https://doi.org/10.7861/fhj.2019-0001
Publisher URL http://futurehospital.rcpjournal.org/content/6/3/204
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