Overtesting and the downstream consequences of overtreatment: Implications of "preventing overdiagnosis" for emergency medicine

Christopher R. Carpenter, Ali S. Raja, Michael D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Overtesting, the downstream consequences of overdiagnosis, and overtreatment of some patients are topics of growing debate within emergency medicine (EM). The "Preventing Overdiagnosis" conference, hosted by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, with sponsorship from consumer organizations, medical journals, and academic institutions, is evidence of an expanding interest in this topic. However, EM represents a compellingly unique environment, with increased decision density tied to high stakes for patients and providers with missed or delayed diagnoses in a professional atmosphere that does not tolerate mistakes. This article reviews the relevance of this reductionist paradigm to EM, provides a first-hand synopsis of the first "Preventing Overdiagnosis" conference, and assesses barriers to moving the concept of less test ordering to reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1484-1492
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

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