All patients need pre-op evaluation, but a low-risk patient having a low-risk procedure does not need pre-op testing. A recent study in Washington State found that at least 100,000 patients received unnecessary pre-op testing during a one-year period, costing more than $92 million.
Routine preoperative lab studies, pulmonary function tests, X-rays and EKGs on healthy patients before low-risk procedures are not recommended because they are unlikely to provide useful, actionable information. The Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force recommends several actions that physicians, hospitals, health care organizations and payers can take to reduce unnecessary testing. See more information on the Choosing Wisely website. (Cat Mazzawy)