Objective: This article reports the impact of an electronic educational tool embedded in the electronic medical record on diagnostic stewardship of procalcitonin (PCT)-A biomarker used to differentiate bacterial from viral infection. This tool specifically targets the preanalytic (ordering and collection) phase of the PCT test.
Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at a 401-bed academic medical center from February 2017- February 2018. The preintervention phase extended from February 2017-July 2017; intervention phase from August 2017- September 2017 and postintervention phase from October 2017-February 2018.
Results: A total of 567 PCT orders were evaluated. There was an overall reduction in total PCT orders and an improvement in appropriate PCT orders. Total PCT orders reduced by 54.4% (P<0.001). Appropriate ordering for PCT improved by 33.4% (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Our results further support the use of information technology to hardwire diagnostic stewardship, an important strategy to improve resource utilization and patient care.