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Analysis of Critical Laboratory Value Nurse-to-Physician Follow-up Calls at a Community Hospital

Goldenstein, Rachel MSN, RN; Prosser, Donna MSN, RN; Travis, Lucille PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0b013e31829229ff

The reporting and treatment of critical laboratory values are vital to the provision of quality patient care. The purpose of this study was to identify the percentage of critical laboratory values not being reported by the nurse to the physician or properly documented in a small community hospital. Results showed that 77% of critical laboratory values reported were not properly documented as communicated to the physician regardless of hospital unit, laboratory specialty, or test.

Buchanan County Health Center, Independence, Iowa (Ms Goldenstein); Carteret General Hospital, Morehead City, North Carolina (Ms Prosser); and School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Dr Travis).

Correspondence: Rachel Goldenstein, MSN, RN, Buchanan County Health Center, 1600 1st street NE, Independence, IA 50644 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted for publication: March 14, 2013

Published online before print: April 23, 2013.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins