Pharmacy Department, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
A survey of doctors working in two large NHS hospitals identified over 120 laboratory tests, imaging investigations and investigational procedures that they considered not to be overused. A common suggestion in this survey was that more training was required. And, this prompted the development of a list of core principles for high-quality, high-value testing. The list can be used as a framework for training and as a reference source. The core principles are: (1) Base testing practices on the best available evidence. (2) Apply the evidence on test performance with careful judgement. (3) Test efficiently. (4) Consider the value (and affordability) of a test before requesting it. (5) Be aware of the downsides and drivers of overdiagnosis. (6) Confront uncertainties. (7) Be patient-centred in your approach. (8) Consider ethical issues. (9) Be aware of normal cognitive limitations and biases when testing. (10) Follow the 'knowledge journey' when teaching and learning these core principles.