Surgery can be risky. People with major cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses undergoing major surgeries, for example, are at risk for major surgical complications, even death. But healthy people receiving less intense interventions typically fly through with nary a concern. Nevertheless, perhaps worried about those few patients who suffer major complications, many physicians order a gaggle of tests on patients, even ones facing routine procedures.
Not convinced they order lots of tests? Look at this picture, from a New England Journal article, showing a spike in diagnostic testing in the month prior to surgery:
Not a bad place to target for healthcare savings that will also promote the best interests of most patients.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.