Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
Contact us | Home | Login   |  Users Online: 625  Print this pageEmail this pageSmall font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size 


TECHNICAL NOTE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31

Using heatmaps to identify opportunities for optimization of test utilization and care delivery


Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Northwell Health, Lake Success, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nina Haghi
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Northwell Health, 6 Ohio Drive, New Hyde Park, Lake Success, NY 11042
USA
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_7_18

Rights and Permissions

Background: When a provider orders a test in a pattern that is substantially different than their peers, it may indicate confusion in the test name or inappropriate use of the test, which can be elucidated by initiating dialog between clinicians and the laboratory. However, the analysis of ordering patterns can be challenging. We propose a utilization index (UI) as a means to quantify utilization patterns for individual providers and demonstrate the use of heatmaps to identify opportunities for improvement. Materials and Methods: Laboratory test orders by all providers were extracted from the laboratory information system. Providers were grouped into cohorts based on the specialty and patient population. A UI was calculated for each provider's use of each test using the following formula: (UI = [provider volume of specific test/provider volume of all tests]/[cohort volume of specific test/cohort volume of all tests]). A heatmap was generated to compare each provider to their cohort. Results: This method identified several hot spots and was helpful in reducing confusion and overutilization. Conclusion: The UI is a useful measure of test ordering behavior, and heatmaps provide a clear visual illustration of the utilization indices. This information can be used to identify areas for improvement and initiate meaningful dialog with providers, which will ultimately bring improvement and reduction in costs. Our method is simple and uses resources that are widely available, making this method effective convenient for many other laboratories.


[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*
Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)
 

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed374    
    Printed2    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded110    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal