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J Gen Intern Med. 1986 Jul-Aug;1(4):238-42.

The admission urinalysis: impact on patient care.


Although urinalysis is one of the most frequently ordered tests in primary care, its usefulness in screening has not been demonstrated. A retrospective review of 1,607 admission urinalyses for inpatients in a referral/community hospital identified 861 as clinically indicated and 746 as routine. Routine urinalyses were abnormal less frequently than clinically indicated urinalyses (18.1% vs 39.6%) and when abnormal, were responded to less often (33.3% vs 75.4%). Forty-five (6.0%) of the routine urinalyses yielded an abnormality that led to diagnostic action. Of these, 18 were normal on repeat testing and 17 were considered unlikely to represent significant disease. Therefore, only ten (1.3%) of the routine urinalyses affected patient therapy. In eight of these cases, the abnormality was pyuria, of which six proved to be asymptomatic bacteriuria. The admission urinalysis as a routine test had little impact on patient care in the authors' institution.

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