Program aims to calculate the likelihood that a patient has an illness, enabling doctors to order fewer tests and prescribe fewer antibiotics.
Researchers found there’s little correlation between a woman’s “ovarian reserve” test and her chances of getting pregnant.
They aren't always correct and they aren't always useful.
CT scans and MRIs can capture unrelated abnormalities by chance, leading to overtreatment, two researchers at NYU Langone say in a new report.
Every year in the U.S., doctor's offices and hospitals order billions of laboratory tests to measure everything from cholesterol levels in the blood to the presence of a gene thought to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Physicians and patients typically assume that they can trust the results of these tests. And most of the time they can. But not all lab tests are equally reliable,
Screening for vitamin D has exploded — with no good evidence that it helps people.
Graphene Frontiers' biosensors are a couple years out, but the future is compelling.
Many patients will be surprised at the tests and treatments that these expert groups now question. They include, for example, annual electrocardiograms for low-risk patients and routine chest X-rays for ambulatory patients in advance of surgery.
It’s the call that everyone dreads and lots of people get: The doctor needs to have you come in for more tests. “There was an abnormality on your Pap smear.” Or: “We found a spot on your X-ray and need to look into this.” Or: “One of the measurements on your blood panel was out of line.”
Over the past two years, momentum has been building behind the Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative that identifies tests and procedures that patients and doctors should reconsider using except under specific circumstances.
Enter a new term into the midlife vernacular: medical gluttony. It’s when our doctors order a barrage of “just in case” medical testing to keep us happy. And because medical tests and procedures frequently carry their own set of risks, it can actually cause more harm than do good.
And this may be the most important discovery of all. Ordering a test, the quickest, easiest, but costliest option, not only failed to achieve the reassurance patients were seeking, it increased anxiety and led to potentially dangerous false positives. Meanwhile, talk and touch, which reduces lawsuits, promotes healing, and increases satisfaction, took time and effort but cost little more than a few extra minutes in the exam room.
When it comes to medical care, many patients and doctors believe more is better. But an epidemic of overtreatment — too many scans, too many blood tests, too many procedures — is costing the nation’s health care system at least $210 billion a year, according to the Institute of Medicine, and taking a human toll in pain, emotional suffering, severe complications and even death.
The overuse of many medical tests and interventions wastes money and can actually harm patients, say over two dozen medical societies.
From a medical perspective, blood work, tests and scans are tools to help physicians diagnose and monitor disease. But from a business perspective, they are opportunities to bring in revenue — especially because the equipment to perform them has generally become far cheaper, smaller and more highly mechanized in the past two decades.
H. Gilbert Welch’s examination of medical trends in overdiagnosis and overemphasis on screening is a welcome antidote to the current medical wisdom. I am reminded of a response I once heard to the question of what makes someone healthy. “A healthy person,” it goes, “is one who has not had a complete medical workup.”
Getting enough data has historically been difficult when performing tests on small samples of blood.
One of the common arguments against mandating or providing upfront prices for medical tests and procedures is that American patients are not very skilled consumers of health care and will assume high prices mean high quality.
A study released Monday in the journal Health Affairs suggests we are smarter than that.
We are facing an epidemic in this country, a threat to our health caused not by pathogens, environmental toxins or lousy diets but by medical tests. Over the past couple of years, we've learned that two popular tests for cancer—mammograms and the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test for prostate cancer—are less than useless for many people.
So what can you do to make sure a deadly surprise isn’t in store for you? Happily, a couple of young and scrappy companies are bringing new tests to market with an eye on the aging boomer population. Here, 3 new and little-known medical tests that can detect deadly killers like cancer and heart disease before they happen. The catch: None of these is standard protocol yet...
Medical exams can be important, life-saving events. There are numerous screenings that the federal government recommends happen on a regular basis, ranging from tests for sexually transmitted diseases to ones detecting certain cancers.
This is not, however, true of every medical test that modern medicine has at its disposal.
Health Testing Centers
You can order your own FDA approved laboratory testing online or by phone from Health Testing Centers and walk-in to a local lab location with a lab requisition to have your testing services performed.
Lab Tests Online has been designed to help you, as a patient or family caregiver, to better understand the many clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases.
Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation that seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.