A First Step
"Part of our goal is to develop a tool that can flexibly answer these questions, like how are these services changing over time. And how are these services responding to reform incentives and different guidelines," Schwartz says.
"We like to say, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it, and this is the first step in that direction, to learn the extent of overuse and what can be done about it."
In an accompanying editorial in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, editors Mitchell Katz, MD; Deborah Grady, MD, and Rita Redberg, MD, wrote that the article by Schwartz, et al "is an important contribution" in the drive to measure unnecessary care," and "will ultimately spur development of interventions to reduce unnecessary care."