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Overtesting and undertesting in primary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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    Guidelines alone don't change practice, software might help.
    • Mick Braddick, General Practitioner NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

    ​A fascinating review showing both over and under use of tests. One might conclude that we're not very good at following guidelines. Another view would be that guideline developers have failed to develop implementation plans and then track whether the guidance is being followed. As a General Practitioner I wonder how I'd perform if tested on the detail of the guidelines that were relevant to my practice. One factor that will be driving under / over testing will simply be ignorance. Only this morning I had to remind a colleague that the local antibiotic of choice for community pneumonia was amoxicillin not doxycyline. We need to recognise that some aspects of medicine are now too complex to rely on the practitioner's memory and consider developing minimally intrusive software which makes it easier to do the right thing.

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.