Applying Evidence-Based Medicine to Laboratory Test Selection


Approximately 70 percent of medical decisions are based on laboratory test results. Because suboptimal test selection increases costs and often leads to subpar care, test-utilization management, which depends on reliable evidence about test performance, has become increasingly prevalent. This video will examine the type of evidence commonly used to assess test performance and discuss how that evidence is assessed to improve test utilization. Common test-selection issues will also be discussed.

Originally presented on September 26, 2013, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

Robert Schmidt MD, PhD, MBA

Robert Schmidt MD, PhD, MBA

Director, Center for Evidence-Based Diagnostic Research
ARUP Laboratories
Assistant Professor of Pathology
University of Utah School of Medicine

Dr. Schmidt is a medical director of informatics at ARUP Laboratories and an assistant professor of pathology at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Sydney in Sydney and completed his residency training in clinical pathology at the University Of Utah School of Medicine. He received an MS in biochemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA at the University of Chicago, a PhD in operations management at the University of Virginia, and an MMed in clinical epidemiology from the University of Sydney.

Prior to completing medical school, Dr. Schmidt was an assistant professor of operations management at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and an associate professor of clinical operations management at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. Dr. Schmidt’s medical research focuses on diagnostic testing, specifically utilizing his business background to complement medical knowledge in performing evidence-based evaluation of diagnostic testing. His research includes comparative effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and utilization analyses of diagnostic tests, as well as operations and technology management related to diagnostic testing.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • List three common deficiencies in diagnostic-accuracy studies.
  • Describe the differences between a narrative review, a systematic review, and meta-analysis.
  • Discuss the role of such studies in evidence-based medicine.
  • Describe the difference between test and diagnostic research.
  • Define misutilization and list five ways that misutilized tests are identified.
  • Describe direct and indirect costs associated with misutilization.

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, and ARUP Laboratories