Peer feedback reduces doctors' overtesting

With a close eye on controlling healthcare costs, hospitals are looking for ways to cut back on the unnecessary. A recent study published in The Journal of Urology found that physician feedback and collaboration led physicians to order fewer tests and improve standardization.

Physicians participating in the Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative received feedback and training in professional guidelines about whether certain tests were warranted, according to a Reuters article.

Researchers found that physicians ordered fewer bone and computerized tomography (CT) scans for prostate cancer patients.  

The journal article follows other data in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) reported that double CT scans are especially overused. More than 200 hospitals use double CT scans on more than 30 percent of their Medicare outpatients, while the U.S. average is 5.4 percent.

"Physicians are at the heart of the solution," said lead researcher and University of Michigan urologist Dr. David C. Miller in the article. "It's a lot more meaningful for doctors to hear about changes in their behavior from their own peers than from an insurance agent or a policy maker," Miller said.

For more information:
- read the Reuters article
- check out the study abstract

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