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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 7, 2020

Minimum retesting intervals in practice: 10 years experience

  • Tim Lang EMAIL logo



Minimum retesting intervals (MRI) are a popular demand management solution for the identification and reduction of over-utilized tests. In 2011 Association of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicines (ACB) published evidence-based recommendations for the use of MRI.


The aim of the paper was to review the use of MRI over the period since the introduction of these recommendations in 2011 to 2020 and compare it to previous published data between 2000-2010.


A multi-source literature search was performed to identify studies that reported the use of a MRI in the management or identification of inappropriate testing between the years prior to (2000–2010) and after implementation (2011–2020) of these recommendations.


31 studies were identified which met the acceptance criteria (2000–2010 n=4, 2011–2020 n=27). Between 2000 and 2010 4.6% of tests (203,104/4,425,311) were identified as failing a defined MRI which rose to 11.8% of tests (2,691,591/22,777,288) in the 2011–2020 period. For those studies between 2011 and 2020 reporting predicted savings (n=20), 14.3% of tests (1,079,972/750,580) were cancelled, representing a total saving of 2.9 M Euros or 2.77 Euro/test. The most popular rejected test was Haemoglobin A1c which accounted for nearly a quarter of the total number of rejected tests. 13 out 27 studies used the ACB recommendations.


MRI are now an established, safe and sustainable demand management tool for the identification and management of inappropriate testing. Evidence based consensus recommendations have supported the adoption of this demand management tool into practice across multiple healthcare settings globally and harmonizing laboratory practice.

Corresponding author: Dr. Tim Lang, Consultant Clinical Scientist, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University Hospital of North Durham, North Road, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5TW, UK, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.


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Received: 2020-05-06
Accepted: 2020-06-22
Published Online: 2020-09-07
Published in Print: 2021-01-26

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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