Factors associated with time to follow-up of severe hyperkalemia in the ambulatory setting

Carlton Moore, Jenny Lin, Thomas McGinn, Ethan Halm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Few studies have investigated the time it takes physicians to follow up abnormal outpatient laboratory results. Methods. Medical record review of all adult patients seen at a primary care practice between January 2002 and December 2005 with serum potassium results < 6.0 mEq/L. We used a proportional hazards model to assess factors associated with time to follow-up for episodes of hyperkalemia. Results. 259 of 48 333 serum potassium results met inclusion criteria. The median follow-up time was 3 days; after 30 days, 10% of cases had no follow-up. Residing in the same zip code as the clinic (HR = 1.39; P =.029), degree of hyperkalemia (HR = 2.97; P < .001), and renal insufficiency (HR = 1.41; P =.015) were associated with decreased time to repeat testing. Conversely, African Americans (HR =.51; P =.007) had increased time to repeat testing. Conclusions. Follow-up of abnormal laboratory results in outpatients is suboptimal and research is needed to better understand factors that delay follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-437
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

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Hyperkalemia
Potassium
Outpatients
Serum
Proportional Hazards Models
African Americans
Medical Records
Renal Insufficiency
Primary Health Care
Physicians
Research

Keywords

  • Abnormal tests
  • Ambulatory
  • Follow-up
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Medical errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Factors associated with time to follow-up of severe hyperkalemia in the ambulatory setting. / Moore, Carlton; Lin, Jenny; McGinn, Thomas; Halm, Ethan.

In: American Journal of Medical Quality, Vol. 22, No. 6, 11.2007, p. 428-437.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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