Where this happened: Royal Gwent Hospital
Increased levels of troponin in the bloodstream can be an indicator of hear damage after a heart attack. However levels of troponin can also be raised without heart damage and over-use of this test can lead to false diagnosis, more unnecessary tests and longer stays in hospitals for patients. Doctors at Royal Gwent Hospital analysed requests for troponin tests during one week and found that many tests were requested without any clinical justification. They drew up clearer guidelines as to which circumstances troponin tests should be used in and tried to discourage using the test as part of a ‘tick-box’ approach. They audited the troponin tests again once they had taken this initiative and found that the number of tests being asked for had fallen.
Find out more at: http://qir.bmj.com/content/4/1/u204560.w3221?cpetoc