ARUP has created three calculators for use by the general public to demonstrate the power of this concept. The consequences of improper lab utilization in any one of these areas can have a dramatic impact on patient well-being. They address testing concerns in three important areas.

The company said that its clients can utilise its downstream cost calculators to demonstrate to administrators or executives how laboratory testing affects the organization’s bottom line, increase their lab’s visibility within the health care organization, illustrate the key role of the laboratory in promoting cost-effective testing.

Jackson, said: “The calculators address three different ways in which laboratory testing can impact overall health care costs. “Chlamydia trachomatis testing can be cost-saving, and ordering a more expensive but more sensitive test can be even more cost-saving by reducing hospitalization, disease transmission, and infertility workups.

“Prostate cancer screening for men over 75 years of age, on the other hand, is unlikely to be cost-saving under any set of assumptions, and the calculator estimates the downstream costs due to biopsies that result from ordering this initially very inexpensive test. Finally, KRAS is an example of a relatively expensive test, which, when used appropriately, can be dramatically cost-saving due to reduction in chemotherapy use.”

Khosrow Shotorbani, senior vice president of sales at ARUP, said: “Our clients, including pathologists and other laboratory professionals, play an important role in promoting cost-effective use of laboratory tests. This requires knowledge of the clinical settings in which tests are being ordered. It also requires knowledge of the clinical decisions being made based on those results and the cost implications of these decisions,”

According to Brian Jackson, medical director of medical informatics at ARUP, said: “The true cost of a diagnostic test includes many factors beyond the direct price of performing the test. An apparently expensive test might turn out to be cost-saving if it averts costly procedures and/or therapy.”