An Ontario-Wide Survey of Perceptions and Practices Related to Routine Blood Test Ordering in the ICU
CCCF ePoster library. Rahman O. Nov 8, 2018; 233339; 47
Dr. Omair Rahman
Dr. Omair Rahman
Login now to access Regular content available to all registered users.

You may also access this content "anytime, anywhere" with the Free MULTILEARNING App for iOS and Android
Rate & Comment (0)


Routine blood testing, pre-ordered in advance, is common in the intensive care unit (ICU), and often occurs without considering the pretest probability of finding an abnormality. This practice may increase the risk of iatrogenic anemia, need for blood transfusion, false positive findings, unnecessary investigations, and cost to the healthcare system. The purpose of this survey was to understand practices and attitudes around routine blood test ordering among Ontario ICU physicians.


We identified potential respondents through personal networks and the critical care leads in each Ontario Local Health Integration Network. The target sample was one intensivist from each Level 3 ICU in Ontario (n = 55). After item generation and piloting, the final survey consisted of 15 questions across 3 domains, plus 11 demographic questions. The survey was administered electronically over a 7 month period. Responses were summarized as descriptive statistics.


The 41 respondents (75% of Ontario ICUs represented) had an average 12 (SD = 7) years of clinical experience. When asked how often unnecessary blood tests are ordered, 73% responded “sometimes”, and 22% responded “almost always.' Twenty one percent stated that complete blood count should be pre-ordered daily, and 24% stated that electrolytes and creatinine should be pre-ordered daily. Most (>80%) did not favour daily testing of liver function, venous blood gas, lactate, coagulation tests, and serum troponin levels. Only 30% of respondents stated that pre-ordered routine blood testing frequently changes patient management. The 3 most common factors perceived to influence routine blood testing were physician habits, institutional tradition, and nursing preferences.


Most of our respondents believe blood tests are at least sometimes ordered unnecessarily. The most frequently cited determinant of routine blood testing was physician preference. We plan to disseminate this survey to intensivists across Canada. The results of this survey warrant comparison to a prospective audit of actual practice before developing any specific recommendations.


    This eLearning portal is powered by:
    This eLearning portal is powered by MULTIEPORTAL
Anonymous User Privacy Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies (Always Active)

MULTILEARNING platforms and tools hereinafter referred as “MLG SOFTWARE” are provided to you as pure educational platforms/services requiring cookies to operate. In the case of the MLG SOFTWARE, cookies are essential for the Platform to function properly for the provision of education. If these cookies are disabled, a large subset of the functionality provided by the Platform will either be unavailable or cease to work as expected. The MLG SOFTWARE do not capture non-essential activities such as menu items and listings you click on or pages viewed.

Performance Cookies

Performance cookies are used to analyse how visitors use a website in order to provide a better user experience.

Save Settings