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Reducing vitamin D requests in a primary care cohort: a quality improvement study.

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posted on 24.11.2020, 16:52 by Veena Patel, Clare Gillies, Prashanth Patel, Timothy Davies, Sajeda Hansdot, Virginia Lee, Mayur Lakhani, Kamlesh Khunti, Pankaj Gupta
BACKGROUND:Since 2000, vitamin D requests have increased 2-6 fold with no evidence of a corresponding improvement in the health of the population. The ease of vitamin D requesting may contribue to the rapid rise in its demand and, hence, pragmatic interventions to reduce vitamin D test ordering are warranted. AIM:To study the effect on vitamin D requests following a redesign of the electronic forms used in primary care. In addition, any potential harms were studied and the potential cost-savings associated with the intervention were evaluated. DESIGN & SETTING:An interventional study took place within primary care across Leicestershire, England. METHOD:The intervention was a redesign of the electronic laboratory request form for primary care practitioners across the county. Data were collected on vitamin D requests for a 6-month period prior to the change (October 2016 to March 2017) and the corresponding 6-month period post-intervention (October 2017 to March 2018), data were also collected on vitamin D, calcium, and phosphate levels. RESULTS:The number of requests for vitamin D decreased by 14 918 (36.2%) following the intervention. Changes in the median calcium and phosphate were not clinically significant. Cost-modelling suggested that if such an intervention was implemented across primary care in the UK, there would be a potential annual saving to the NHS of £38 712 606. CONCLUSION:A simple pragmatic redesign of the electronic request form for vitamin D test led to a significant reduction in vitamin D requests without any adverse effect on the quality of care.



BJGP Open 3 November 2020; bjgpopen20X101090. DOI:

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Diabetes Research Centre, College of Life Sciences


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BJGP open


bjgpopen20X101090 - bjgpopen20X101090


Royal College of General Practitioners





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