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April 11, 2018

The impact of automated notification on follow-up of actionable tests pending at discharge: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

Dalal AK, Schaffer A, Gershanik EF, et al. The Impact of Automated Notification on Follow-up of Actionable Tests Pending at Discharge: a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2018;33(7)(7):1043-1051. doi:10.1007/s11606-018-4393-y.

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Dalal AK, Schaffer A, Gershanik EF, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2018;33(7):1043-1051.

Incomplete follow-up of tests pending at hospital discharge is a persistent patient safety issue. This cluster-randomized trial used medical record review to assess whether an automated notification of test results to discharging hospitalist physicians and receiving primary care physicians improved follow-up compared with usual care. The intervention was focused on actionable test results, which constituted less than 10% of all pending tests. Even with the intervention, only 60% of tests deemed actionable had any documented follow-up in the medical record, and there was no significant difference compared to usual care. The authors conclude that automated clinician notification does not constitute a sufficient intervention to optimize management of tests pending at discharge. Previous WebM&M commentaries explored problems related to tests pending at discharge and how organizations can improve follow-up of abnormal test results.

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Dalal AK, Schaffer A, Gershanik EF, et al. The Impact of Automated Notification on Follow-up of Actionable Tests Pending at Discharge: a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2018;33(7)(7):1043-1051. doi:10.1007/s11606-018-4393-y.