An article on AMA Wire argues for "healthy skepticism" when ordering lab tests, especially by residents. One expert suggests that one-third of tests may be unnecessary, and notes a 2013 meta-analysis that found that 20 percent of 1.6 million lab orders were unneeded. 

One factor may be the way menus are added to the electronic medical records (EMR) system, which is often left to hospital information technology staff and which may simply include "every test that the lab can receive an order for and make sure that you can order that out of the EMR." The resulting clutter may cloud decision-making, promotes increased testing, and increase the risk of inappropriate tests being selected. Learn more...

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