Attitudes and beliefs of emergency physicians on lab tests utilization in clinical practice. A multicenter survey
It is commonly perceived that the main obstacle for an effective partnership between Emergency Medicine (EM) and Laboratory Medicine (LM) is the lack of reciprocal knowledge and understanding. A further aspect is a partial comprehension of clinical significance and implications of some tests. The real scenario of attitudes and beliefs of Emergency Physicians (EPs) on lab tests utilization in clinical practice remains largely unclear. Therefore, this original study was designed to explore this field of medical knowledge, by using a survey on attitudes and beliefs in laboratory diagnostics which was disseminated among many Italian EPs. A questionnaire containing 20 different items/statements was designed and then disseminated either directly, or in a digital format. Overall, 183 questionnaires were compiled and collected. The results of this nationwide survey seem to confirm the existence of a suboptimal knowledge of both clinical and economic impact of urgent laboratory tests by Italian EPs. An unsatisfactory relationship between EPs and laboratory professionals seems also to emerge. Several EPs attribute this to Shortage of time to think (18.6%), followed by Fair of medical-legal litigation (13.6%). On the other hand, interestingly, it also emerged that some Italian hospitals still include obsolete o redundant tests in panels of urgent laboratory analyses, potentially misleading for the diagnostic reasoning in the Emergency Department (ED). In conclusion, the virtuous circle between EM and LM should be further reinforced for optimizing clinical pathways in Italian EDs, improving clinical outcomes and reducing unnecessary expenditures. A major agreement between laboratory and emergency professionals
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