Lung Testing Recommendations

Respiratory Health SCN

Under leadership of the Respiratory Section of the Medicine SCN’s primary care physician members, we are supporting recommendations for the right lung test for the right reason - specifically in the instance where primary care is overseeing their own patients.

Recommendations can be found by viewing Use the Right Lung Test at the Right Time.

The impetus for this work stems from the fact that evidence-based guidelines are lacking to inform the most useful type of diagnostic testing, according to the patient’s presentation. In addition to uniting specialists and primary care physicians in consensus building, this work will align with recent recommendations from Choosing Wisely Canada, Respiratory Medicine.

Recent surveys have indicated that primary care physicians wish to gain more confidence in referring patients for the most valuable and appropriate testing, to enhance earlier more accurate diagnosis. In a list of over 20 patient presentations for which primary care has typically referred for lung testing, the 5 most common are:

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Chronic cough
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Undifferentiated shortness of breath

The goal of this team is to focus its first phase of work on practical recommendations to guide testing for diagnosis (and follow-up where applicable) for these 5 most common presentations. This team will continuously involve and engage both independent and public testing facilities.