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Overbundled Tests

Overbundled tests are a problem in laboratory medicine. Overbundled tests are orderable test panels that contain multiple test components, some of which are unnecessary, or unnecessary at that particular time. Some clinicians like the idea of convenience and large test panels offer "one stop shopping." They can get multiple tests by placing one order and get the added comfort of knowing that "if there is another test that could help with the diagnosis, then I'll probably be getting that one too."
Obviously there are useful and efficient panels that we are all familiar with (eg, basic metabolic panels, drug screen panels, and liver function panels) but in the reference lab arena there are many panels that are constructed to provide more information than is often needed, and these come with very high price tags. These types of panels are referred to as overbundled tests.