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Table 3 Pre-post comparison of the monthly number of diagnostic and lab tests prescribed per 100 consultations (time series analysis, ARIMA model)

From: The effect of a test ordering software intervention on the prescription of unnecessary laboratory tests - a randomized controlled trial

  Control group Intervention group
(always exposed to usual EHR software)
Before After p Before software modification After software modification p
Diagnostic and lab tests that were withdrawn from the basic menu
 Uric acid 12 10.9 0.094 11.2 4.5 <0.001
 Serum protein electrophoresis 4.1 3.2 0.001 4.7 0.6 <0.001
 Sedimentation rate 8.3 7.7 0.259 7.1 2 <0.001
 Rest electrocardiographya 7.7 6.8 0.189 6.4 5.4 0.072
 Lung X-ray 1.7 1.6 0.351 1.9 1.4 0.002
All tests withdrawn 33.8 30.3 0.075 31.3 13.9 <0.001
Diagnostic and laboratory tests that were added to the basic menu
 HDL cholesterolb 19 17.8 0.357 16.7 16 0.566
 Triglycerides 19.6 18.3 0.349 17.4 16.2 0.372
 Faecal occult blood testb 8.5 7.3 0.236 4.9 6.3 0.017
Cervicovaginal cytologyb 4.8 4.7 0.779 4.5 4.4 0.905
Mammographyb 1.9 1.8 0.332 1.6 1.7 0.631
All tests added 53.7 49.9 0.334 45 44.7 0.909
Diagnostic and laboratory tests that were marked with green dots (USPSTF grade A and B)
 Glucose 22.7 21.5 0.402 20.4 18.8 0.199
 Total cholesterol 20.6 19.3 0.345 18.3 16.9 0.264
 Colonoscopy 1.4 1.5 0.325 1.2 1.2 0.940
 Flexible sigmoidoscopy 0.1 0.1 0.031 0.1 0.1 0.115
 DXAα 1 0.7 0.035 0.6 0.6 0.562
 VDRLβ 2.1 2 0.234 1.9 1.6 0.003
All green marked 82.1 76.7 0.331 70.2 67.5 0.560
Diagnostic and laboratory tests that were marked with red dots (USPSTF grade D)
 Pelvic ultrasound 1.2 1.1 0.033 1 1.1 0.815
 Cancer antigen 19-9 0.2 0.2 0.911 0.1 0.1 0.013
 Exercise electrocardiography 0.5 0.6 0.308 0.5 0.4 0.113
 Carotid artery ultrasound 0.3 0.2 0.484 0.2 0.2 0.072
 Spirometry 0.5 0.5 0.959 0.3 0.5 0.010
 Hepatitis B surface antigen 1.6 1.7 0.627 1.3 1.2 0.147
 Hepatitis C antibodies 1.2 1.2 0.379 0.9 0.9 0.898
All red marked 13.1 12.3 0.341 10.9 9.7 0.102
  1. aTests that were also marked with red dots. bTests that were also marked with green dots
  2. α- DXA: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry β-VDRL: Venereal Disease Research Laboratory