CLMA - Test Utilization Strategies at UnityPoint Health

Carol Collingsworth, MBA, MT(ASCP)SC

CLMA Body of Knowledge Domains: Quality and Safety, Medical Decision Support, Information Technology

Test Utilization is a strategy for performing appropriate laboratory and pathology testing with the goal of providing high-quality, cost-effective patient care. The knowledge gained from test utilization strategies can be used by the laboratory and shared with physicians to ensure that correct tests are ordered for the correct patients, best test methodologies are utilized, and accuracy and quality remain high, ensuring the best medical care. Interest in Test Utilization has grown over the recent months, partly due to the significant increase in the number of new proprietary and genetic tests with four-figure prices, as well as a renewed focus on Utilization Management in the inpatient setting. The UnityPoint Health Laboratory Affinity Group is composed of UnityPoint Health Affiliate members and was created as a governing council for laboratory and pathology services offered at UPH. The group reports to the UPH senior leadership team through an executive sponsor. Our mission is to support the UPH strategy of System Sustainability (Ensure financial viability through a culture of financial discipline and adoption of best practices in both critical patient care and business processes). To that end we have identified Test Utilization Management as a critical initiative.

Continuing Education Credits


  • Outline key strategies used at UnityPoint Health to help drive appropriate test utilization at time of order entry, including the implementation of Epic Best Practice Alerts, deployment of laboratory driven testing algorithms, and development of appropriate Epic order sets.
  • Illustrate the value of partnering with a strong analytics team to enable data-driven conversations and decision making, identify actionable opportunities for the removal of waste from care delivery processes and drive culture forward by bringing forth new opportunities, skillsets, and data points.
  • Recommend the development of a local Laboratory Utilization Committee to provide oversight and guidance on use of laboratory diagnostic services in a manner that improves patient care, optimizes test use and reduces total cost of care.

Course Outline

  • Test Utilization Video
      • Test Utilization Video
  • B1A - Test Utilization Strategies at UnityPoint Health
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