Analyzing Test Ordering Patterns™
ATOP is an analytical service ARUP Laboratories has offered to its clients since 1998. This service assists health care organizations by giving their physicians a unique, analytical tool to use when ordering laboratory tests for their patients. The analysis identifies potential over-, under-, and misuse of individual laboratory tests. An ATOP report assesses the clinical and economic impact of suboptimal test ordering. This information can be shared by laboratory professionals with the clinicians who order tests for their patients. The insights gained from an ATOP report can be used to improve patient care, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.
ARUP ATOP Benefits
- Improve patient care with shorter times to diagnosis and
avoidance of inappropriate tests.
- Manage test ordering according to evidence-based guidelines.
- Engage physicians and administrators in clinically appropriate testing.
- Minimize downstream health care costs.
- Prioritize educational outreach efforts.
- Promote the value of laboratory medicine and enhance the role of
laboratorians in clinical settings.
ARUP ATOP Reports
After detailed analysis, an individualized ATOP report in both electronic and printed forms is delivered to the client. If requested, an ARUP pathologist will explain the report and answer questions via Web conference.
The report explains opportunities for improving specific test-ordering patterns, such as:
- Appropriate use of first-line tests
- Inappropriate use of obsolete tests
- Clinically significant differences in sensitivity and specificity of tests
- Clinical equivalency of less expensive tests
Recommendations are based on national guidelines, published clinical studies, industry best practices, and the expertise of more than 85 ARUP pathologists and University of Utah School of Medicine faculty.
From July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007, ARUP made recommendations that would potentially have saved clients $2.5 million. Recommendations during that time period would have saved an average client just over $40,000, or four percent, in laboratory testing expenses. For one high-volume client, the ATOP team identified a potential savings of $263,469, or 13.7 percent of its laboratory-testing expenses.