Editor's Note
Sep 24, 2012

Let's Just Check That Potassium One More Time . . . Comment on “Last Orders: Follow-up of Tests Ordered on the Day of Hospital Discharge”

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(17):1344-1353. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3982

Tests ordered on the last day of hospital admission account for almost half of all test results that are not reviewed and for a larger proportion of abnormal test results that are not reviewed. Because patients are judged ready to go home on the day of discharge, most tests ordered that day are unlikely to change care and are probably not needed. However, if an important test result is required to guide care at discharge, providers need to figure out a process to ensure follow-up.

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