Rational Medical Testing

Nasim Afsar-manesh, Jeffrey H. Barsuk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Rational medical testing is the optimal use of tests determined by best practice or evidence-based guidelines while interpreting risks, benefits, and costs. Effective and efficient care is particularly important when considering rational testing. Effective care provides services based on scientific evidence of benefit without overuse or underuse. Efficient care avoids waste and inappropriate costs. Up to 30% of all medical spending may be wasteful and unnecessary. The United States has one of the most costly health care systems in the world, yet consistently underperforms on care quality indicators. Without rational medical testing, improvements in health care quality are unlikely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e416-e426
JournalHospital Medicine Clinics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Bayesian reasoning
  • Best practice
  • Health care reform
  • Rational medical testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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