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Analysis of Current Thyroid Function Testing Practices

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Technical Report

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59th Medical Wing San Antonio United States

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Rationale Current guidelines recommend thyroid stimulating hormone TSH alone as the best test to detect and monitor thyroid dysfunction, yet free thyroxine FT4 and free triiodothyronine FT3 are commonly ordered when not clinically indicated. Excessive testing can lead to added economic burden in an era of rising healthcare costs, while rarely contributing to the evaluation or management of thyroid disease. Objective 1 to evaluate our institutions practice in ordering thyroid function tests TFTs and 2 to identify strategies to help reduce inappropriate FT4 and FT3 testing. Methods A record of all TFTs obtained in the San Antonio Military Health System SAMHS during a three month period in 2016 was extracted from the electric medical record EMR. TFTs of interest were TSH, FT4, thyroid panel TSH FT4, FT3, total thyroxine T, and total triiodothyronine T3. These were also categorized based on the presence or absence of hypothyroidism.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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