We conducted a study to acquire information on the current behavior of a sample of Italian surgeons and anesthesiologists about prescribing, interpreting, and using routine preoperative investigations. Consultants in surgery and anesthesiology in 60 hospitals in northern, central, and southern Italy were interviewed. Prescription of these procedures by doctors were driven more by personal experience than by updated scientific knowledge. This practice often led to ineffective and inefficient clinical practice, with healthy patients undergoing useless, time-consuming, costly, and sometimes harmful procedures.
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