Tests Ordered on Day of Discharge More Likely to Be Overlooked, Study Finds

October 3, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Diagnostic tests ordered on a patient’s day of discharge from the hospital are more likely to be overlooked than those ordered earlier during admission, according to a research letter published in the September 24, 2012, Archives of Internal Medicine. The study, which included 662,858 individual tests performed across 6,736 inpatient admissions, examined the potential risk of missed follow-up of diagnostic test results based on how many days after admission the tests were ordered and the time available for follow-up. It found that 37.7% of all inpatient admissions had one or more missed results before discharge.

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