Given the high cost of healthcare today, the need to maximize quality while minimizing cost without compromising patient satisfaction is what defines high-value care. In contrast, low-value services are often expensive and do not improve patient outcomes. Unfortunately, low-value care is often ingrained into our system.
To help identify recent studies to reduce low-value care, a group of authors has regularly been sharing their top ten articles of the year. For 2021-2022, Dr. Money and colleges share an important list (10.1542/peds.2023-062650).
Their list of top 10 articles were selected from a larger review of the literature. This list includes 5 articles that question routine practices (e.g. routine temperature measurement at well-child visits that can result in vaccine deferral; routine dental x-rays in younger children that can lead to unnecessary procedures; longer birth hospitalizations that do not result in better outcomes; unnecessary longer antibiotic courses for community acquired pneumonia; and conventional incubator care rather than “kangaroo mother care”) and 2 studies supporting more judicious use of surgery (e.g., gastrostomy, tympanostomy tubes). They also identified 3 studies regarding adverse effects of common interventions (e.g., tonsillectomy; proton pump inhibitor medication; and over-the-counter cough and cold medication use).
While the authors note the limitations of their methods including subjectivity in scoring and journals that were searched, the articles they share with us are well worth reading. Link to this special article and learn more. Doing so may result in reducing overuse of some tests or interventions that you did not realize were a problem and as a result, add value to the care you are delivering to your patients.