Physicians less likely to order cancer screening tests late in the day — 5 insights

Eric Oliver - Print  |

Physicians stop ordering cancer screening tests later on in their workday, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open, which was reported on by Medscape.

Researchers studied 33 primary care practices in the Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania Health System and documented their cancer screening test orders.

What you should know:

1. Physicians ordered more breast and colon cancer tests at the beginning of their workdays.

2. Order rates slipped at midmorning, increased around lunchtime and then dropped to their lowest point at 5 p.m.

3. The trend was similar for patients. The rate of follow-through on testing was highest at 8 a.m. (33.2 percent completion) and lowest at 5 p.m. (17.8 percent completion).

4. Among the 33,468 patients eligible for colorectal cancer screenings, test order rate was 36.5 percent at 8 a.m., dropped to 31.3 percent by 11 a.m., rose to 34.4 percent by noon, then dropped to 23.4 percent at 5 p.m.

5. Twenty-eight percent of patients completed a CRC screening test scheduled for 8 a.m. and 17.8 percent completed a test at 5 p.m.

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